The Olympic Parallel That You Must Apply Before You Sell Your Business.
Let's examine the olympic parallel. Now that the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games has past, it is instructive to think about the ways in which selling your business is similar to preparing for the opening and the Olympic Games. Strange as it may seem to you, there are some marked similarities.
Let's examine the events leading up to the opening ceremony. And we will only go as far back as the previous Olympic winter games, four years ago. Athletes from countries all over the world were making their own commitments to work to be invited to compete in the next winter Olympics. They were committing to train very hard for the next four years. In many cases for a single chance at a best performance and hopefully Olympic medal. This commitment is part of the olympic parallel.
For many their chance to show what they can do will be very brief. In other cases, including team sports, it will be longer. But since the entire competition, for all events, excluding the para Olympics will last only two weeks, all chances will be of necessarily short duration. Think of it! Thousands of athletes will have trained and prepared for years for this event. Actually doing the needed preparation is the other part of the olympic parallel. If they show up to compete with a slight injury, or a cold, or anything else that prevents them from being their very best. Too bad for them. And it will all be over in two weeks.
Then there is the other side of the games. The participants need proper facilities on which to compete. They also need to be housed, fed, given medical attention, moved from place to place, and on and on. And we won't even touch security. This didn't happen by accident in Vancouver, or any past host location. A vast organization needed to be built to deliver all of this, and make it easily accessible for communication to the rest of the world. And all at a cost that is hoped will break even at worst.
Commitment and the action involved in advanced preparation combine to form the olympic parallel in selling a business. And it continues. None of this can be achieved over night. Like the athletes, the organization responsible for the Vancouver 2010 games, had to work for the better part of the last four years to plan for and prepare the venue and all related services. Calling on a large variety of experts to contribute as and when needed. And this will continue until the very end of the games and the closing ceremonies.
Let's come back down to earth and how this relates to selling your business. What we have called the olympic parallel. As an owner you need to mirror the actions of both the athletes and the local organizations. They started planning and working on their skills long before the event. You need to do the same. They were preparing in advance for a specific Olympic event. You need to prepare your business for a specific event . You need to prepare your business for sale.
Like the local Olympic organizers you may need to acquire expert assistance to assist you in you preparation. Experts like lawyers, business valuators, accountants, etc. Your preparation to sell your business may not take four years. However it is likely to take longer than you expect. So you need to start preparing your business for sale long before you expect that you will sell it. Early preparation is just as important for you as it is for Olympic athletes and organizers. Another example of the olympic parallel.
Another similarity is that there will be unexpected challenges along the way. The economy can be a big one. Just as the Vancouver Olympic organizers have been seriously challenged by the downturn in the World economy, you will also be experiencing challenges if you are trying to sell a business today.
However, you have one advantage over Olympic organizers. You can likely decide to defer the sale of your business until the business climate improves somewhat. That is somewhat analogous to an Olympic athlete being allowed to reschedule his event to another day. A day when he doesn't have a cold. The Olympic Games have fixed start and end dates. So they have no flexibility. Actually another advantage you have is that unless your business provides snow removal, lack of snow will not be a problem for you. As it has been in the preparation for some 2010 Olympic events.
With this as preparation, you will probably be able to think of lots of other ways in which preparing you business for sale is similar to preparing for a high performance athletic event. So don't be tempted to trivialize this comparison. Instead, use it to energize your thinking. And something even more important, use it to energize your actions, and prepare thoroughly, and well in advance. Use the olympic parallel to motivate you and guide your actions toward your intended result.
To learn more through a brief overview of how to prepare your business for sale, and sell it, download the
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