When a building service contractor decides to exit the business, there are three tasks he or she should do before attempting to sell: have your business valued; implement a de-risking initiative; and, create a life after ownership plan. Doing these three duties will not only establish a solid foundation for an exit plan but will also enable you to more clearly envision the most logical buyer and position your cleaning company accordingly.

In this tip I will cover life after ownership.

Once you get this far in the selling plan, there is still one important question to answer — what are you going to do after you sell? Several studies link the sale of a business and ultimate retirement with deteriorating health. For many business owners, their identity and sense of self-worth are directly linked to their ownership of a business. Once they let the business go, many begin to feel a lack of purpose, which can lead to depression and declining health.

Make sure you have a plan for what you’ll do next, and that this plan involves more than playing golf every day. Identify activities, organizations, or even second career opportunities that can provide a new passion so that you don’t find yourself regretting the sale.

The three steps outlined in this article will help you position your business to be sold to the buyer you deem most logical and position you to exit the business comfortably and happily. If you’d like to learn more about how to apply this advice to your business, please contact us.

Peter Holton is the Managing Director for Caber Hill Advisors and has been in the service industry for nearly 20 years and is well known and respected throughout facility maintenance industry. He manages the firm's practice facility maintenance sectors. Peter offers valuations, exit planning, consulting and buying or selling business. He has performed numerous speaking engagements for organizations such as ISSA and BSCAI. He can be reached at peter@caberhill.com or by visiting www.caberhill.com.