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Even the Youngest Auto Repair Shop Owners Need an Exit Strategy


Even the Youngest Shop Owners Need an Exit Strategy

by Rick White, President 180BIZ                                                             (Estimated Read Time 4 minutes)

What I want to talk about in this episode is EXIT. Most exits are an emotional reaction. What I mean by that is you just had that one client, that one situation, that one employee who was that final straw in the camel's back. They went chirp, and that was it. You’re out. Only to find out that later on in the process of selling the business, it's not worth what you thought it was. That’s scary.

You can’t sell your blood, sweat, or tears.

There are so many shop owners out there whose entire nest egg is wrapped around the shop, and that is scary. Yes, you've put a lot into it. You have your blood, sweat, and tears into it. I get that. But you can't sell your blood, sweat, or tears.

A lot of times when I start talking about exits, people shut off. They think they’re too young and don't have to worry about it. It's not even on their radar. That's what I hope I can change today. Even if you're not planning on selling your business soon, your business is always for sale. What do I mean by that? It means that if it's not on the market, you're buying it. So make sure it's worth it.

What if you couldn’t work for the next 6 months?

You want to be prepared, you want to be ready. Let me ask you a question. If you got hurt and were laid up for the next six months, what would happen to your shop? When I'm talking about exits, I'm talking about secession plans. I'm not just talking about walking away. What happens if you get hurt?

For those of you who know me, in November of 2021, I had back surgery. In August of 2021, I got hurt. I was on hydrocodone and was a walking zombie for a few months. I will tell you right now, I wasn't prepared for it. I just never thought it would be an issue. But believe me, it can and will most likely be at some point. So I ask you, What is your plan? If it wasn't for the love and grace of three amazing individuals, Tom Shearer, Eric Boch, and Lucas Underwood, if it wasn't for those three to step up and help us through this, I don't know if I would be here to talk to you today. That's a scary thought.

Answer the hard questions to be prepared.

I want you to dig into this thought process with me.

  1. What if you do get hurt?
  2. What if something happens to you, health-wise, and you need to sell the business in a hurry?
  3. What if, God forbid, you pass away. What are you leaving your loved ones to deal with? What are you leaving your team to deal with?

I know it's really hard to think about this stuff, but you must start asking yourself those “What if” questions. And the simple ones are:

  • What if we lose the internet?
  • What if I lose your phone service?
  • What if I lose an employee?
  • What if my computer goes down?
  • What if I lose my data?

These are all simple “What if” questions to answer. They're a pain in the butt, but they're simple. The harder ones to answer are “What if you get hurt?” or “What if you pass away” or “What if you become incapacitated in some way?”

Tomorrow may not always be there.

We have these assumptions that tomorrow is always going to be there and that's one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. I'm not suggesting you go through this process with me because you want to sell your business now. I'm suggesting you go through this process with me because you want to be prepared.

It’s not too early to think about your exit strategy.

I want you to think about exits this week. Not just planned, but unplanned too. Like Zig Ziglar said, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and deal with what comes.”

I just had an amazing Shop Owners Round Table this past Thursday. It’s absolutely free. Please come in and join me.  It’s every second Thursday of the month at 7PM Eastern Time. And if you want to get in on this webinar, which is going to do a much deeper dive than what I can on these short bursts. Click the Pocket Business Genius and sign up. It's around 49 bucks a month if you're interested. And you all not only get a live webinar every month but there's a library of over 70 different leadership webinars that are off the hook good. And I'm not saying that because I did 'em. I'm saying that because of the comments I get all the time people who get so much out of them.

God bless. stay safe, have some fun, and go make some money.

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