Table of Contents Hide
- What Is Business Exit Strategy?
- What should you pay attention to in an exit strategy?
- Why You Need A Business Exit Strategy
- Important questions for your business exit strategy
Entrepreneurs live to fight to start their business. But one thing they often forget is that decisions made on day one can have a huge impact later on. You see, building a business worth a fortune is not enough. You need to make sure you have an exit strategy to get the money back.
What Is Business Exit Strategy?
A business exit strategy is a plan to transfer business ownership to another company or investors. Even if an entrepreneur earns good income from his company, there may be times when he wants to go and venture into something else.
At this point, the business can be sold, left to new management, or taken over by a larger company. Even if it will be decades before the entrepreneur can sell his business, what he is doing in the present moment can set him up for a smooth exit or make the process more difficult.
What should you pay attention to in an exit strategy?
While different companies may require different tactics in an exit strategy, there are key elements that can be helpful across the board. These elements take into account the company’s finances, market conditions, objectives, and schedule.
One aspect that should never be overlooked in a business exit strategy is the individual goals of the owner. After leaving the business, will the owner be interested in making a profit or would he also like to leave a legacy? Establishing the purpose of leaving the company will help to identify the specific goals and activities that should be prioritized.
Another factor to consider is the term of the agreement. When does the owner plan to sell the business? When setting this time frame, a business owner should consider flexibility. That way you will have more bargaining power. However, if the time frame is limited, the business sale may not go smoothly as everything is done in a rush. Also, stakeholders may not have enough time to realize the full potential of the business.
Intentions for the business
Does the business owner want her business to continue or would she prefer it closed? Answering this question will help determine whether the company will be liquidated, merged with another, or sold and set up for transition through succession planning.
Both the current supply and demand of the company’s products or services and the market demand of companies are also factors to consider. Are there any potential buyers or just a few?
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Why You Need A Business Exit Strategy
Entrepreneur gets tired
Starting a business from scratch and transforming it into a successful and profitable business is challenging. It requires a significant investment of time and money. Most of the time, entrepreneurs have to do a lot of things before they can make enough profits to invest in recruiting and training.
Many times, given the effort that business owners put into these efforts, they are unwilling to delegate tasks. These people spend all of their time running the business. They work around the clock looking for new customers, marketing their products, and recording business finances. Since such business owners rarely take time off to recharge, they can reach the point of fatigue or burnout.
Burnout can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons. In this case, the business owner does not want to spend another three months preparing her business for sale. Prospective buyers prefer that business owners have performance metrics, sales history, and other documentation available. A business exit strategy ensures that business managers have systems in place that can record important information on a regular basis.
Better understanding of income sources
An exit plan requires that you maintain consistent and up-to-date business performance data. This means that business owners are always well aware of their sources of income, as well as cash inflows and outflows. You can determine which activities generate the most income and how that income is spent.
Accurate financial data enables better decision making. It also helps business owners make realistic predictions. You will be able to manage cash flows more efficiently, plan for seasonal fluctuations, and focus your marketing efforts on important projects.
Developing an exit strategy will help business owners decide whether to undertake short, medium, or long-term income projects.
If a person intends to leave the business in the next few months, they can focus on activities that will allow them to earn money quickly. This includes things like monthly subscriptions, automatic renewals, and membership models that remain active until canceled by customers. These income-generating projects require minimal effort but ensure that the money flows into your business.
However, corporate owners who want to stay in business for years to come should focus on long-term growth activities. Developing long-lasting customer relationships, creating a trustworthy staff, and innovation contribute significantly to the growth of the company.
Develop effective leadership
Whether a business owner intends to sell their business or pass it on to their next generation, effective leadership can close that deal or abandon it. To ensure a successful transition, business owners must outline the chain of command to follow when they leave. This plan should also establish the basis for the company’s decision.
When a long-time manager or leader leaves, some companies fall into chaos and numerous interest groups compete for power. The remaining players waste so much time deciding who will take over that they forget the main objectives of the company. By establishing a clear succession plan, business owners help minimize such risks and ensure that the business continues to flourish long after they are gone.
4 Smooth processes
An exit plan outlines all the information that the successor of the company would need to carry it out. In this way, new investors or managers don’t waste their resources gathering basic information about employee salaries, finances, and partners. If your exit strategy contains all the necessary information, your successors can start immediately as soon as the company leader leaves the company.
Important questions for your business exit strategy
Where to start when it comes to planning small business exit strategies?
While much of what ultimately relates to your exit strategy is unique to your business, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to begin developing your exit plan:
Do you want to stay in business forever?
If you are just starting your business, this question may seem almost counterintuitive. But even at an early stage in your business, it’s important to be realistic, and that means thinking ahead and considering your strategic plan for going out of business. Even if you’ve spent your entire career owning the same business, eventually most people plan to retire at a certain age. Did you set up your business in such a way that you could do it later?
You may know that business ownership can only last up to 10 years. In your opinion, what would you most like to do right now? Do you want to continue participating in the business even if you are not the owner?
These are important questions you must answer yourself to create the right plans. It might even be a good idea to reconsider, year after year, how you feel about these questions as your life and plans progress.
What are your financial goals?
Of course, this is different for everyone. As much as you love the concept of your business or the good it does in the world, almost all entrepreneurs have financial needs and goals that are included in their business plans (sadly, almost 70% of entrepreneurs do not save for retirement on regular basis).  Whatever your goals, this question will have a huge impact on the outcome of your exit strategy.
How do you really plan an outing?
Many business owners work with consultants or professionals to help them make the best decisions, such as an accountant or business attorney. However, once you’ve asked yourself the first two questions, you can work with a professional to help you develop an exit strategy as part of your business plan.
At this point, you need to deal with “the executable items like tax, business structure”, etc. You also need to understand the full value of your business to understand what options you may have.
Ultimately, planning your exit strategy is about crystallizing your personal and business goals in order to make the best decision for your company at the right time to leave. However, if you go down in the near future, you will need to choose a plan and stick with it.