The Ceibass team of enterprise value specialists have been getting a lot of phone calls regarding Ceibass CEO Tom Fochtman’s recent tips for building a business with an exit in mind. So here is more on the topic based on the great conversations the team has had over the past month.

When you build your lawn and landscape business with an exit in mind:

You start with the future situation you are trying to produce and work backwards… what EBITDA, what multipliers do you need to produce to get the money, after taxes, that you will need to retire or to continue on to your next venture. This way you’ll be sure you are satisfied with the outcome of your decades-long journey to build a great company.

It lets you work on your business instead of in it. You “assemble” needed capacities like human capital, capital equipment, operating capital, and capital inventory rather than focusing on being too busy, head down and butt up.

You set a competitive tone very early on…you’re not happy just to be here, or to have your own business, or to get a paycheck…you are there to build an enterprise and sell it. You look at the marketplace and choose how you are going to compete in it. You develop a philosophy of how you are going to compete and make it happen.

You really care and work with your people. You educate, motivate, trust, grow and work with them to produce a top-notch team. Scale your operations by recruiting, training and empowering key talent. Develop your super team.

You accumulate knowledge and power – things like lifelong learning at NALP are a great choice, you spend the time with technology to exploit its opportunities, you learn, you write goals down, your systems get better, you look for efficiencies…instead of putting out fires. Manage and win by the numbers.

You spend the time creating value for your clients…doing things differently and better so that you enhance your competitive advantages over time. Your strategic objective becomes producing competitive advantages rather than simply fulfilling existing orders.

You grow your autonomy – freedoms over time – which allow you to expand into new lines and new offers. 

You take on leadership roles within your community, within the  industry, and within your marketplace to establish your company’s trustworthiness, value, authority and leadership.

Your focus is on building a powerful business with great people in the right seats on the bus, great systems, and great clients.

Since you’re not working IN your business head down and butt up, you work ON your business anticipating future threats, obligations and opportunities before they are obvious to everyone else.

This keeps you ahead in the game. Makes your business a must for any buyer in your marketplace to take a look at…even if you’re not for sale.