The “R” word, “Retirement,” is a word that triggers many thoughts for lawn and landscape business owners. Some of these thoughts are more effective than others.

During the month of July the Ceibass blogs have focused on declaring financial independence as a worthwhile ambition for lawn and landscape business owners.

“Declaring that one of the purposes of the business is to create financial independence for the owners of the business helps drive commitment, direction, velocity and focus for the actions of leadership,” says Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO. “It helps management focus on growing its people, its revenues, and its systems and procedures to make the company valuable to a buyer one day.”

But what about retirement? The “R” word? The thing that happens after the sale of the business? Here are some reflections on the “R” word from the team at Ceibass:

  • To reach a level of revenue and EBITDA to sell a business to take care of the owners’ financial retirement needs takes a new set of attitudes and practices. Get help.
  • Think ahead if you are younger…look ahead and anticipate what level you need to get your business to in order to obtain the financial levels you seek (after taxes).
  • Be thoughtful, be prudent, be honest with yourself. Reality rules here. Remember that a buyer of your business is buying future revenues, future cash flows, future margins…how predictable is the financial performance of your company?
  • The common sense about retirement is flawed. Pensions, social security are under attack. What’s new is that you have to earn and save enough money to take care of 25-30 years of “unemployment” after you retire. So you can live a good life with your spouse and children.
  • Use the 4% Rule which is the max you can withdraw from your nest egg to minimize the chance of running out of money before you die.
  • If you’re not close to retirement, look at your business and if you’re not earning enough or if your EBITDA is not attractive enough, connect your current situation to a future of not having enough money to retire. Be realistic and use the fear of not having enough to bring about meaningful change in your business now.
  • Working hard as a business owner to produce a future that you don’t want to be in is no way to live. Get real now! Get a feeling for where you are now. Call us at Ceibass and we’ll help ground your assessments about where you are now in terms of your business and taking care of your retirement.