ARTICLE: “Start with the End in Mind”

ARTICLE: “Start with the End in Mind”

Recently, the 2nd of my articles for the motivations was published.
Most pleasing! And it goes like this…

During the Retirement and Estate Planning process, “Ownership of Assets” forms part of the discussion. Where one of the assets is a business, and it is a primary contributor to the Estate, it makes perfect sense to ask a number of provoking, asset-protection, risk-minimisation questions.

The questions are best offered from both a proactive and a reactive viewpoint.

Taking such initiative is paramount for ALL business owners who seriously want to successfully transition their business while they are in the best position to do so. In most cases however, business owners will not have commenced the all-important discussion about what to do when the time has come to finish, to exit, to essentially not run their business any more, whether that be by choice or otherwise.

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Podcast: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Selling Your Business – a conversation with Lorraine Pirihi

Podcast: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Selling Your Business – a conversation with Lorraine Pirihi by Denise Hall on Mixcloud

I had the pleasure of talking with Lorraine Pirihi, from Relaunch your Life, about what is involved in selling a business and why it is imperative to start the process early.

Yes, that old chestnut. Start with the end in mind, regardless of how old the business is!

There’s much to consider, but the main takeaways are:

  1. Formulate your “A” team
  2. Understand timelines
  3. Be prepared to invest in accessing the specific skills sets you need to help
  4. Get the business sale-ready
  5. Be really clear what you’re going to replace the business with in your life…

If this is a conversation you want to explore further, feel free to contact me on

A transcript of the interview is ready to download also…


Podcast: Denise Hall talking Buying a Business on “Taking Care of Business” with Jackie Mitchell


Taking Care of Business – How To Successfully Buy A Business (or Start Your Own)T by Denise Hall on Mixcloud

A most interesting show last Friday on “Taking Care of Business” with Jackie Mitchell.

Not only did we discuss the initial thoughts processes around Buying a Business, we also talked Customer Service with a local and a national award winners. Most thought provoking and well worth a listen.

Be my guest.

there are many ways to Exit….


Met up with one of my favourite clients today. We have been on the “start with the end in mind” journey for 18 months and it continues to evolve. The beauty of going through this process over an extended period is that we explore, we try, we talk, we DO and we get closer to what the ideal exit will be, from their individual perspective.

When we started the process, it was about “renovating” the business ready for sale. Take it to market, sell it, get the cheque and eventually leave. But as we’ve continued down the path, the business has also been shifting and growing in its own right. No surprise there really. The point being is that nothing stands still, a business under renovation included.

Just when you think you’re ready to go to market, opportunities present, new excitement builds which in turn reenergises the business and the delays around exit inevitably begin. Now, thats OK if you can in fact go on forever, but as we know, life’s not like that!

So what we’re plotting and scheming now is how to take full advantage of the opportunities as they come live, as well as restructuring the business so that facilitating an exit is also still doable. Another chapter, another timeframe, another option. All doable, yes. Letting go of past confines and embracing new. Riding the wave, surfing it to the shore and winning the gong!

Looking forward to the next financial year…

to add an equity partner or not to add, that Is the question?

growthI’m always curious to know why Business Owners quite freely jump to the suggestion of bringing in an equity partner when thinking of growth. Especially if they claim they have funds to add to the pot! Whereas the option of Growth by Acquisition rarely gets a look in.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that it’s not an option, not at all. But it is often flippantly thrown about as one of a number, almost without real considered thought behind it.

Knowing someone, whether it be for a long time or short, does not mean you know what they will be like as a business partner. Let’s not mention all the decisions you’ve always made will no longer be all yours to make. Plus there’s the issues about how to spend money, what to do with profits, what staff to bring on, what role each of you are to play, etc…

The way I structured this decision, way back in the heady days of aCE talentNET was to have my prospective business partner work as a sub-contractor for 12 months. If a relationship is going to work, or not, doubts will have raised their head by the conclusion of that time frame, enabling both of you to shake hands and walk away, before any real damage is done.

I wish we had followed the same protocol when bringing on partner #3 but that’s another story. Warning: don’t always let reputation get in the way of adhering to your process.

Having had one way work and the other be a disaster, I know which I will repeat again in future. Something I strongly urge all Business Owners to really think through when broaching the same topic in considering growth options.

Think about it from an Exit Strategy point of view. How much easier is it to at least get to the sale decision when there’s only you. The more people you add to the decision making process, the more delay fatigue will potentially set in.

Growth by Acquisition on the other hand means you may be able to negotiate to have the best of both worlds ie the additional revenues and client list, without necessarily taking on the exiting partners… think about it…

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