Exchanging your Role for an Exciting Roll
By Tom Zucker, President
As a business owner you’ve had to assume many roles in your company to make it successful. These roles range from chief rain maker, head project manager, talent recruiter and occasionally even the janitor. As time progressed, you’ve likely delegated a few of these responsibilities to enable you to prioritize your time on more strategic matters.
However, as owners approach the sale of their business, they need clarity on the role they perform in the company today and more importantly post-sale. The ability for core functions of the business to be performed by capable and talented management is essential to a successful transition.
An owner focused on their role in a company will be limited to what they are able to accomplish. An entrepreneur unwilling to relinquish their demanding roles in the business will forever be tied to the organization that they built. This mindset limits the owner’s freedom but also greatly limits his earning potential. Famous business coach and author Michael Gerber once said, “Work ON your business, not IN your business.”
We have suggested to many business owners of trading in their ROLE for a more exciting ROLL
“The Roll” that I am speaking about is the ability to partially sell your business and leverage the buyers connections and experience to build your business faster. The business builder can be a private equity firm, family office, or committed strategic business partner. The key is to let your leadership team assume the roles within the business, and to find a partner to meaningfully grow your business. The rolling of equity with a new partner will reinvigorate you and your company and enable you to see the true market potential of your business.
The owner that focuses on ”The Roll” will see more growth and wealth creation than one focused on their individual roles within their company. A few ancillary benefits to consider are:
- Expanded Engagement: Engaging existing and new leaders to expand the company focus and future. Sharing equity and upside is so important to create exponential wealth and value creation.
- Find New Boundaries: With “chips off the table”, an owner is often willing to take more calculated risks. Whether it is an acquisition, key hire, or entrance into a new market. These are opportunities that have always existed, but for many reasons have never been acted upon. It is time for scaling the business with calculated investments.
- Skilled Guide: The ability to have someone that has been there before is priceless. The risk of failure decreases significantly when you have an intelligent and experienced guide. Relationships, experience, and business building skills are important to your company’s future success.
As you consider “the roll”, it is important to understand that various structures and approaches exist. We have successfully assisted owners with majority recapitalizations, dividend recaps, minority recapitalizations, and many other variations of equity rollovers. Owners often place a high value on equity and operational control of their business, and thus tend to favor smaller equity investments. This is a great way to get access to talented business builders while unleashing the potential of your business. We encourage you to engage with an M&A advisor to explore your company’s valuation, transition options, and the benefits of rollover equity options.
In summary, the owner that relinquishes their roles in their business for a compelling “Roll” will be rewarded with more bread (wealth) and freedom (time) than they have previously had.
© Copyrighted by Tom Zucker, President of EdgePoint Capital Advisors, merger & acquisition advisors. Tom can be reached at 216-342-5858 or on the web at www.edgepoint.com.