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Self-Driving Businesses

Ever heard of the Ford Flivver? It’s not a model you would have seen around town while driving to the grocery store. In fact, the only place you can still find one is in the Henry Ford Museum. The Ford Flivver—dubbed the “Model T of the sky”—was Henry Ford’s failed attempt to bring planes to the masses, and it is one of the earliest signs we can point to of the start of man’s expectations of flying cars.

For decades, portrayals of “The Future” in popular culture have included flying cars as symbols of technological advancement. From The Jetsons to Star Wars, man has viewed the flying car as the pinnacle of what we can achieve, with plenty of confidence that flying vehicles will be just around the corner. Ford himself said in 1940, “Mark my words: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”

Now, 76 years later, where are all the flying cars we’ve all been waiting on? We’ve sent men to the moon and back, airplanes routinely fly around the world with hundreds of passengers, but no flying cars.

Perhaps it is time to reset our expectations about the “car of the future.” Instead of flying cars, it is becoming clear that automated cars will be the next big futuristic advancement in travel. In fact, Google already has numerous prototype self-driving cars out being tested on public streets, and thirty or more other companies are all investing in developing their own versions of self-driven cars, including Uber, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, and most traditional car manufacturers. Ford may not be trying to put cars in the sky anymore—at least for now—but they too are trying to get in on the self-driven car boom.

So what is the appeal of the self-driving car? Like many things in our lives, we seek to make them more efficient by making them more autonomous. The goal of such autonomy through the use of any technology is to help minimize both human effort and error. In the case of our cars, it is meant to make our lives as easy as possible as we transition from one place to another.

Know what else benefits from being autonomous? Your business. Ask yourself, could your company continue to run unhindered without your involvement? Have you actually crafted a “self-driving company?” or would things fall apart as soon as you left?

These are incredibly important questions for every business owner to ask themselves, especially as they begin to consider their exit strategy. Having an autonomous business means you’ve developed a structure of people and assets which operate smoothly and efficiently without you personally having to do anything. It means efficiency, profitability, and perhaps most important, a smooth transition from one owner to the next when the time comes to sell your business.

If you want to get an optimal cash offer when the time comes to sell your business, it is absolutely essential that your company be just like Google’s self-driving cars of the future: able to keep operating like normal no matter who is in the front seat.

For legal guidance regarding how to structure your company so as to make it as autonomous as possible, as well as in-depth business exit strategy planning, please contact the law office of Brown & Sterling today!

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Brown & Sterling

Brown and Sterling, P.S. is dedicated to helping small to mid-sized business owners and entrepreneurs of the Pacific Northwest. We’ve been advising businesses from formation through owner exits for over fifteen years. With a team of seasoned attorneys with expertise in business, taxation, employment law, and real estate law, our firm is uniquely situated to walk business owners through all of the intricacies of a business acquisition or sale.