Have you ever been in a position where you were considering selling your company only to find the value of the business falling quite short of your expectations? This is something that can easily happen without you noticing…
Destroying your Company
What do we mean by this? We mean that something, either suddenly or little-by-little, has gone so awry that the value of your company in the eyes of an investor has severely decreased. Out of all the possibilities, the most common reason value drops comes down to the leadership and the key team members that you have assembled.
Who You Hire
Your team is one of the most vital assets in your company. Without people, you don’t really have a company. In the process of valuation, investors spend a lengthy amount of time assessing your leadership, key team members, and general staff.
Productivity in a company heavily depends on the integration and relationships between the team members. Especially relevant in toxic environments, alliances begin to form, gossip boils, and separation between roles deepens, etc.
Are you the toxic person?
Take a deep breath and assess whether you are the toxic person in your company creating these divides. To do this effectively, you cannot go about it alone. If you are in a position of leadership, bring other fellow leaders in to provide honest feedback of your performance. Give them permission to be brutally honest because in critical times (such as selling your business), there’s no time to work through fluff.
You may be a value destroyer
When considering the value of your business, you need to take yourself out of the equation. Your business should be an asset you own, that generates cash, not an extension of yourself. It should be able to operate without your daily and direct motivation, involvement, or leadership.
If the business cannot function without you, that’s a problem.
When the business cannot function with you on an extended vacation, that’s a problem.
When no one else can fill your position or create the same results, that’s a problem.
If you have a company that is not worth much without you, no one will pay you much for it. If you’re not careful, you could be the destroyer that is impacting your company’s value. Perfectionism, lack of reinvestment, and plain old bad habits could mean you’re in big trouble.
One of the most frustrating things about entrepreneurs and business owners is that they often forget to take themselves out of the company. What does that mean exactly?
In the “E-Myth,” Michael Gerber states,
“If you cannot separate yourself from the business, then you have a job not a company.”
Perfectionists are professionals at not separating themselves from the business. By having accountability partners or top managers there to advise you if you begin to slip into perfectionist tendencies, you will be able to continually take a 40,000 foot view.
Don’t Work a Job
So, how can you ensure that a business can continue to operate and flourish without your involvement? Hire strong people, create valuable content and procedures, develop a brand that is not synonymous with you. If you do all of these things, it will help you create an asset, not a liability.
Lack of Reinvestment
Sometimes, those at the top can get “greedy”. I always say “greed lowers IQ”. When CFOs, CEOs, COOs or any other person in a financial leadership position finds success, they often reward themselves generously.
While that is not necessarily bad, it is a bad idea when you neglect to financially lead your company by not reinvesting back into the company. Not only is this neglecting your responsibility to the shareholders, it risks a major cash crunch.
A financial leader can have bad habits that destroy companies. Some of these bad habits include:
1. Wasting time with frivolous tasks
2. Over-rewarding yourself
Consider investing that extra bonus into the company. Check the reasonableness of your bonus.
3. Only acting in the accounting function
As a financial leader, you are more than just the leader of the accounting function. You have a responsibility to provide financial leadership to the sales and operations functions as well.
4. Be only reactive, rather than proactive
Most accounting-types are reactive. Instead, think like the entrepreneur or owner of your company. Proactively make decisions that put your company ahead of competitors.
This bad habit leads to more than just financial issues. Professional and personal scorekeeping pits people against each other, resulting in workplace animosity. Watch your words and the thoughts that measure and compare one’s performance.
6. Resistance to take any risk
Take calculated risks; measure the downside of the risk in comparison to the upside. Be sure to factor in the payback period it will take to see if you can afford to take the risk.
As a result of having 1 or more of these bad habits, you could be destroying your company.
Who is actually in control?
Figure out who is in financial control of your company. If it’s you, then start analyzing whether you are the destroyer. Regardless of your conclusion, there is an opportunity to take control of the situation. To truly maximize value, control all value centers in your company. The first order of business is learn the Top 10 Destroyers of Value. Download your free guide to avoid letting the destroyers take value away from you.