Often we feel like our business is our (second or third) child. The analogy is all too obvious with all the hours spent in it (unfortunately, probably many more than with our actual children) and often not on the business.
This is much like coming home each day, feed the kids and read a story before they go to sleep but forgetting to brush their teeth, looking after their health and teaching them it is important to say ‘thank you’ to a person giving you a nice gesture. These are basics in life but often overlooked in the upbringing of children. It is up to us, the parents to teach them the foundations of friendships. Good luck to the ones that rely on schools to instill these behaviours…
Customers must feel the love! They LOVE to buy your product or service (otherwise they wouldn’t come to your shop or picked up the phone to call you) but they don’t want to be sold to, just so you can keep your happy lifestyle. That balance must be right and a win-win for both the business owner and the customer or client.
Children have two phases in life where changes in their brains are made; at the age of around 4 and with puberty in their teens. In both phases it is natural for a child to seek confrontation.
Most parents choose to work hard while the children are young. Children spend long days in daycare while mummy and daddy work to pay the bills and for the lifestyle. Emotionally understandable because this is the time to make money. But evenly, this could be the biggest mistake in the upbringing of your kids. Depending on the personality it could have a big impact on your children’s life, forever. I tell you how;
While they are young, time spent with them is like putting money in the bank. Helping your child through life, educating them on how to look after their health, brushing their teeth (and explaining why!), baking a cake or coach their sports team builds up a wealth of trust while helping them through the first stage of life.
Doing it right, having spend all that time together they trust you as the person they can go to in good and bad times. They can trust you with their secrets without you telling the other parent, they can tell you the first time they fall in love and explain how it feels, they can rely on you to always be there for them…
This is the important part because, remember, in their teens there is a second time their brain changes. They will seek confrontation again. Love can make them feel incompetent to cope with life and the parent will be to blame for the whole world exploding right in front of their eyes. They often do the complete opposite of your ‘wise advice’ but take all the bad advice from their friends (who also have parents that suck and rebel against ‘the establishment’). THIS is where your ‘trust bank account’ comes in!!
Because you choose to spent time with them, made an effort to understand them for all the previous years and you put that trust in their ‘bank account’, it is time to cash it in; they now trust you to be the person to go to. The chances they will go to some friend or stranger for advice is much less because they know that you listen. They know that you will have all the answers, just like you always had all the answers in the past.
This is a bit like business. Invest in your business, don’t just work in it but take the time to work on it. Treat your business with respect through the initial stages, build systems and processes in your business early on, educate your staff while paying them a fair wage for their hard work, trust and accountability. Don’t suck all the profits out so it looks like you don’t make any money. Initially it might feel good to pay less tax but when it comes to an exit strategy; the sale price will reflect the profits on paper, not the cash in the business. You can’t steal it twice!!
I promise that if you look after your business, your business will look after you for a long time. In those hard times it will still give you a healthy return on investment and one day, you can exit with enough (actual) wealth to do the things you have always wanted to do…. when you want it!
The trick is to know when the time is right to move on. If you have thought about selling your business in the last 18 months, or you are planning to sell in the next 12 to 18 months have a discussion with Rudy.
There is no obligation to sell and and our conversation will be completely confidential. We provide you with a free appraisal so you know how much your business is expected to sell for in an open market.