By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
A problem faced by telephone answering service owners (like all business owners) is addressing life cycle changes: dealing with shifting priorities as we age. While some people may have both the drive and ability to run a business for the remainder of their lives, most get to a point where they want to scale back: not handling day-to-day issues, taking longer vacations, semi-retiring, or not working at all. These are all various forms of letting go. Yet letting go is often hard for someone who sacrificed to launch or grow a business. As a longtime owner, you may make every key decision and oversee all activities.
If there is a family member or key employee interested in taking over the business, this may be the best solution to help you achieve your goals, providing there is enough time to make an orderly transition. Alternatively, adopting a new management style is another option. However, many TAS owners find themselves in a position where their kids don’t want the business and they can’t change their management style, so they opt for the only other solution – they sell the business.
Whatever path you choose, the key is to carefully consider all the options and make an informed decision after taking the time to make the best choice for your situation. Whatever you do, don’t put things off and then be forced to make a rash decision.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his book How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.