Why have an exit strategy?

Being successful in the short-term isn’t easy, but being successful in the long-term is even more challenging. Becoming profitable is only one tenant of this success: there’s also personal satisfaction, reputation, and stability. According to BEI, over 79% of business owners want to exit in the next 10 years, but only 15% have utilized an advisor to guide them through the process. That’s a problem.

It is crazy, yet almost always happens, that successful business owners put little thought into an exit strategy. Instead of prioritizing exit planning, they typically are focused on the day-to-day actions of running their business, often working “in” it and not “on” it.

Some common thought processes include:

“I’m not exiting my business anytime soon.”

“I know there are willing buyers, and they will see the value.”

“I don’t want to think about an exit. The business has been my life.”

“Spending time planning for an exit will take away from running the business now.”

Yes, there should always be buyers who want to get the best return on their investment but think about your competition in the marketplace. There is a lot going on within any industry and the businesses that create a stronger exit plan will attract higher-quality buyers.

Involving strategic advisors to help prepare the business grow, create, and optimize value for a potential buyer is key. This engagement allows the business owner to focus on running the business, while also ensuring the proper tactical objectives and strategies are in place to grow and position the business for the future no matter what the end game may be.

Preparing a business for sale involves many dimensions that need to be planned for, investigated, and objectively evaluated. Although every owner varies, the process always takes time, and everything cannot be implemented instantaneously. For every business, an exit is an inevitable whether the owner plans for it or not.

Equip your company to be prepared and to exit on the best terms today, not tomorrow.