You followed our exit plan guide and sold your small business. Now what?
Transitioning into life after selling your small business can be difficult. After a majority of your adult life was spent building something from the ground up, you are starting over. Your identity as "a small business owner" is gone and you may be looking to find what else that identity now encompasses. Having a personal small business exit plan to help guide your next investment or hobby is a smart, fun way to prepare for the unknown!
Whether you're looking to invest in your next adventure or invest in yourself, there are a plethora of ways to spend your newfound spare change and spare time strategically.
Invest in You
Well now, this sounds oddly familiar...
You've spent however long dedicating yourself to another being, your small business, and now you finally have the time to dedicate to yourself. What hobbies could you pick up? Maybe there's something you've always wanted to do? Where are there opportunities to learn a new skill? What new place could you discover? The options are endless... and overwhelming. We're sharing our two favorite ways to "Invest in You" to help narrow it down.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a worldwide movement connecting visitors with organic farmers in order to promote educational and cultural exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming and sustainable practices. "As a WWOOFer, you will participate in the daily life of your host, help out on the farm, learn about sustainability, experience a new culture, meet new people, and receive free room and board during your stay." You can travel and learn in over 130 countries, at any age or any stage in life, for as long as you'd like. If you've ever wanted to harvest cocoa beans in Hawaii or learn the fermentation process of grapes from vineyards in Italy, then now is your chance.
MasterClass is a membership-based streaming platform that offers online classes from "the world's most diverse thinkers and voices shaping culture." A membership includes unlimited access to 100+ instructors and classes covering a wide range of topics including: Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style, Business, Wellness, Sports & Gaming, and so many more. Learn to prepare filet mignon from Gordon Ramsey or singing and songwriting from Alicia Keys. For only $15 a month, you can learn or progress a specific craft, be inspired from the stories of others, or feed your curiosity and desire to grow.
Invest in Your Community
For some, the last thing you are thinking about putting in your small business exit plan is picking up new responsibilities or working for someone else. For others, investing in your community is a great way to stay involved and interacting with the local business scene, and, realistically, have something to do that gets you out of the house.
You can invest your time in your community by becoming a volunteer or seeking out a new job opportunity. VolunteerMatch provides a list of organizations always looking for more volunteers. Otherwise, your local libraries, schools, and museums are another great resource for finding volunteer possibilities. Finding a new job instead of a volunteer opportunity allows the same benefits and fun of volunteering, but with the added bonus of getting paid. One of the most popular jobs for recent small business sellers is becoming an Adjunct professor. Think about it. You've accumulated a wealth of knowledge and range of skills in your industry and know what it takes to successfully start, run, and sell a business. Local colleges and universities are always on the lookout for reliable and experienced professionals to teach and inspire young minds — a.k.a. the next generation of small business owners and future leaders of Corporate America.
Speaking of the next generation of Corporate America, what a full circle moment it would be to invest your money into funding someone else's small business dreams? Not only do you make someone's dreams come true, you can also make a pretty penny by getting a return on your smart business investment. There is also no better place to invest than in Minnesota's bustling startup community.
Related Reading: Minnesota Startup Community
Invest in Real Estate
The safety net of a steady income is gone. So it might be a smart move to invest in something that is going to continue bringing in cash flow. One example of ways to make a passive income is real estate investing. The benefits to buying and owning real estate are long-term appreciation and equity build, leverage capital to increase returns, and depreciation and other tax deductions. Here are three simple ways you can invest in real estate, each with their own pros, cons, and ROI.
Owning rental properties can be a great investment for individuals looking to be more hands-on with tenant and property management. The downside is that rental properties require more capital to finance up-front maintenance costs and any vacant months.
Related Reading: Rental Issues and Horror Stories: How to Avoid Property Problems
Real Estate Investment Groups (REIGs)
Looking for a different type of community for your business exit plan? Real estate investment groups are perfect for people looking to own rental real estate without the added chore of running it. How it works is a company buys or builds a set of condos or apartment blocks and then offers them up to other investors who would run the day-to-day tasks.
House flipping, also known as everyone's favorite binge-watching content during the pandemic, is great for people with significant experience in real estate valuation, marketing, renovation and repairs. House flipping can be a high risk / high reward depending on what problems arise during renovations and how long it takes to flip and sell on the market.
Wondering if it's right for you? Maybe start with furniture flipping.
Related Reading: Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Minneapolis
You invested an abundance of financial and emotional capital in your small business. Find out how Flagship Bank can help you navigate life post-small business sale.