Are you planning on putting years into building your business, and then selling it for next to nothing?
Of course nobody would say yes to that, but actions speak louder than words.
A buyer wants to walk into your business and see a well-run operation.
When a customer calls to ask about his service order, does your staff have that information available immediately, or does it take them a couple hours to track down all the paperwork?
Can you pull up a report that shows the turnaround time of your projects? Or just give a vague guess?
Do you show him statistics on employee performance, or just hope he trusts you that they’re all good people?
Will he be able to sit in your office and focus on expanding the business, or do you have a list of tasks that only you can handle? How many fires do you have to put out each day?
Is all the business data available to him immediately? Or is there a lot of paper shuffling and spreadsheet manipulation he has to do to get answers?
Which version of that business would you pay a premium for?
The one that requires you to run around and manage every aspect of your business by hand?
Or the one where you sit at your desk and push a couple buttons to see your performance for the day?
If the buyer has to come in and build the systems himself, that’s going to come out of his offer price.
Your business has to be easy for someone else to run if you expect to get full value for it.
That means your most important job as you grow the business is to build systems. Good systems will make your business an attractive investment.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s work most people are unwilling to do.
When you do that work, your business will stand out.
If your business is a headache to run, you’ll get scrap part prices for it.
I am a computer programmer specializing in building database software with ASP.NET MVC, C#, and SQL Server.