Did 2020 leave you wondering whether you were coming or going? If so, you aren’t alone.
WITH MARTHA SULLIVAN
Whether business or personal, it has been a year of chasing our tails, getting into $#^!, and avoiding people (perhaps intentionally at first, and then since March out of necessity).
Just the other day, I was reminiscing about my fifth grade math teacher, Mr. Mercer. He was a wonderful teacher, firm with us precocious tweeners, yet with a great, sly sense of humor. One of his favorite comebacks to “Mr. Mercer, can I go to the restroom?” was “You can, but you may not.”
2020 has renewed business owners’ thinking about company ownership. For some owners, 2020 is merely another bump in the road that they will roll over while holding the steering wheel tightly. For others, it’s been a perverse rush, literally and figuratively, as business has grown with the shifts in consumer and commercial demand.
It’s the time of year when many companies head into their planning and budgeting season. There is always a tension that accompanies this process. There is the tension between the known and unknown, scarcity and abundance, short-term and long-term, and finally, the tension of “who has time for this?”
How would you rate your ability to deal with stress these days? Chances are, if you’re like me, you are feeling it. Work lives up to its name (“work”). The juggle with family may have morphed into a third job of educator. And then there’s all the other chaos swirling about.
What if you’re too young to retire? (I know I am!) What does it mean if all the sudden we find ourselves at a crossroads?
There’s a gold rush of sorts in 2020. Not for everyone, of course, but for some lucky souls there is. Perhaps your company is one of the “forty-niners” of 2020 by virtue of a rush in demand for your products and services. Maybe you swiftly flexed your products, services, and capacity to replace and grow volume. Or perhaps your business was fortunate enough to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to gain important financial support during the pandemic.
Many of us are trying to decipher what normal looks like, especially if we are planning for the future of our businesses. If you are looking to understand the current value of your business, the question is similarly vexing. Where’s the crystal ball when you need one?
This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. Sometimes it’s in relation to my health and my family members’ health. Other times it’s in relation to participating in conversations around the current social and political events. Of course, it’s always in the back of my mind about growing my business.
Spending half her career as an advisor to privately-held and family businesses and the other half in CFO/COO roles, Martha Sullivan is a partner and the succession planning practice leader in the business transition strategies group at Honkamp, Krueger & Co., P.C. She and her team have extensive experience assisting business owners achieve their personal, business, and transition goals. “Don’t think of the ‘exit’ from your business like it’s a four-letter word. Make it your next adventure!”