It is not an easy decision to retire from a life of work. Besides the obvious monetary changes to be considered, there is also the uncertainty of an idle lifestyle, and the connection between your ego and the question “What do you do for a living?” If one is retiring from a business they started and built from the ground up, one’s considerations and emotions could become even more complicated.
In my interview with Mr. Barry Corkern, CFP, we talk about the 3 choices a small business owner has when deciding to retire:
- Train and pass the business on to their family.
- Make a strategic business plan that downsizes the entity and extracts the profits.
- Sell the business.
My parents were small business owners. In making their retirement decision, they took option two from above, which, for tax reasons, they executed over several years. For me, I am lucky enough to have a gaggle of children working at FAB who are training and working to steer the ship in my absence.
Selling your business
This brings me to the last option, number three, sell the business. Over the past year and a half, I have purchased three businesses from three fellow women entrepreneurs who wanted to sell what we all call “our first born.” Like me, they started and, over the following decades, grew their on-going concern. They have an emotional attachment to their business, much akin to that of a child you have reared. I “feel” these women.
Each of these purchases has been different. OCM was a new website with a new product line for us to learn. In the AboutFlags.com acquisition, we purchased a customer list, a little inventory, and redirected the seller’s website to ours.
This past week, after months of negotiating, we assisted another woman into retirement and purchased Freedom Flag in Miami, Florida.
Again, this acquisition has been different. It has been a larger and more complex asset purchase because we are keeping their Hwy 909 store front, with its small flag manufacturing facility in back and long-time, loyal employees. I am thrilled to be able to finally share that, starting September 1st, FAB will now have a Miami location. This new territory will expand our customer base (if you think Texas is a whole other country, you need to visit Miami. They don’t even speak English down there), increase our world and boating flag inventory, improve our delivery dates on custom flags, and of course, give me and Grady a business reason to visit Miami!
But don’t think this was an easy decision for any of us. We have all had plenty of sleepless nights. But in the end, I think we are ALL excited and looking forward to a new beginning. And Barbara Dabney, seller of her baby Freedom Flag, “feels me” and knows her first born and long-time work family are in good hands.