Take a long holiday and make your business more saleable

July 2, 2024

Take a long holiday and make your business more saleable

With summer upon us, I am often asked how much ‘holiday time’ shareholders should take away from their business.  Taking too much holiday can give rise to feelings of guilt or give a wrong impression to your workforce, but taking too little time off could be interpreted by an incoming buyer as your business having an over-reliance on you!

There is actually a serious point.  A question asking how reliant the business is on ‘you’, is often one of the first questions that a business buyer will ask a business seller.

Clearly the ‘right’ answer is that the business has a minimal reliance on you and operates well with the senior team that you have hand-picket and nurtured.  Buyers need to understand that your business can function (and grow!) with minimal daily input from you and other shareholders who may have their eyes on the exit too.

And that is where extended holidays can come in.  To be able to answer that your business does NOT have a reliance on you – as evidenced by the fact that you have spent the last 6 months swanning around the world on a yacht or sitting on a far-flung dessert island – puts some real credibility behind your response.  And yes, buyers will of course want to understand your ‘remote management’ style and the fact that you have not been running the show from your yacht cabin with ‘always on’ internet, but extended holidays are often a great way to prove the point that your business is not reliant on any key people that may be walking away following a sale.

And with this in mind, I would encourage those who are feeling guilty with so much away time, to give themselves a break!  Extended holidays are simply part of your strategy to demonstrate the lack of reliance that your business has on you. So on that basis, put your feet up, rest your mind and relax safe in the knowledge – without any guilt – that the time you are spending away from ‘work’ is actually part of your longer term plan with benefits for the company itself moving forward.

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