Succession Planning

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by sherborne, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. sherborne

    sherborne
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    My husband and I run an online electronics business.

    Most of the work is by phone and my husband is becoming increasingly deaf, with no cure.
    We are making enough to live comfortably but not to employ some-one else. Also we would like to retire in a few years.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.
     
  2. Fergal

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    Hi Sherborne, welcome to Business Advice Forum and thanks for posting your question.

    What options have you been considering so far, for example would you consider selling the business?

    You say that most of the business is done over the phone, could you communicate with your customers using Live Chat, which is text based? http://www.providesupport.com/ are a good example of a company that provides Live Chat services. Live Chat also has the advantage that it makes it very easy for your customers to contact you, they can initiate the communication from your website and they wont have any telephone costs.

    What country are you based in?
     
  3. seanstevens

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    Hi Sherborne, could you provide a link to your website? might give an idea of the business.
    Is it sales via the phone or support?

    Depending on the type of business and the success you could also think about a profit share with some one else. Try to find someone you can trust or would be able to do a good job (if support then a University graduate looking for work and experience), for doing some work they could share some profit rather than getting a direct salary (make sure everything is documented correctly to avoid issues at a later date.

    As Fergal mentioned there are online tools that can help or in the worst case start planning to sell the business.
     
  4. sherborne

    sherborne
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    Hi Fergal
    Thank you very much for that suggestion. We are looking into using Live Chat. Never heard of it before so thank you again. We are in Australia. We aren't able to sell the business at the moment as the income is important to us. In fact we would like to work towards selling part of the business in the future in order to keep some income coming in.

    Hi Sean
    We are in Australia and sell security cameras and DVR's, so there is quite a lot of discussion to give advice on the best options for our customers. We have the website right at the top of the ratings and are well able to do the computer work etc. The business is growing at a fast rate and it seems that we are in that between stage of affording help and not. We need the income and would like to retain some income in the future by selling part of the business when we retire. What are your thoughts on that.
    I like your idea of bringing some-one in on a profit share basis and the right person should be able to increase the business to provide enough extra income for themselves. Thank you for your support.
     
  5. sherborne

    sherborne
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    Hi Fergal

    We have uploaded the live chat. Brilliant, thankyou!
     
  6. Fergal

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    That's excellent Sherborne, glad to hear that it's working out for you. Would it be possible for you to use the services of an agent or even an individual to sell your products and services on a commission only basis? That way you would not have any expenses unless they make sales for you.

    Having someone do the sales for you, would free up your's and your husband's time to spend on other areas of the business.
     
  7. sherborne

    sherborne
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    Hi Fergal

    We did try that and advertised a year ago. We put together a really nice selling presentation kit and sent them out to five people across Australia. Not one of them did a thing with it. We offered 25% commission which is above normal rates here. It is probably the Aussie way that they prefer wages.

    Maybe there is a different way we could go about getting the right kind of sales agents?
     
  8. Fergal

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    You could try doing that again sherborne. A lot of peoples' financial situation has changed in recent months and you might find that there are more people willing to work on a commission only basis now, than what there were twelve months ago.

    You could look up various business directories to source agents and try contacting them directly.

    You might also try contacting industry associations relative to your industry and ask them if they are aware of companies that would be interested in reselling for you.
     
  9. sherborne

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    Thank you. I will try that again and contact installers that may want a hardware supplier. I will let you know how I get on. Great site to get some outside advice. Thank you.
     
  10. Fergal

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    Thanks sherborne, yes please do keep us updated. Also please feel free to share your opinions to other members. The experience you have from being in business would be very helpful to some of our other members.
     

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