How exit planning can minimize the impact on your business in an economic downturn 

Whether you started a company with an inspiring idea, after an unexpected layoff, or simply for self-employment, your business needs a destination. Without one, entrepreneurs run the risk of not creating real value in their companies, resulting in decreased growth, profitability, and flexibility. This can also lead to stagnation and make it difficult to pivot when the market changes. 

Pivoting is particularly important in the current economic climate. Exit plans allow you to change direction without losing sight of your destination. It accommodates business challenges, such as bank failures, inflation, high interest rates, or supply shortages. Unexpected obstacles will arise throughout the lifetime of your business. You cannot predict what your business will face, but you can plan for it. 

It’s critical to think about why your business exists and how you will eventually exit. Many business owners fail to consider this until it is too late. An effective plan outlines how to run and scale your business throughout its lifetime.  Ultimately, the goal is to maximize your business’s value for the future buyer. 

As part of RVR’s ongoing article series, we will discuss the importance of having an exit plan in place to ensure value creation is a priority for your business. We’ll also discuss how RVR works with clients to identify factors that impact their business value positively and negatively, as well as identify and implement solutions that enable them to succeed. 

Start your journey with a destination in mind 

When you first get into a car, the destination is always at the forefront of your mind. Entrepreneurs should apply that same approach to their business. It’s important to have a plan — just like a GPS if you’re walking or driving — for how you will get to your destination. 

RVR’s team is familiar with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and we understand that planning for the long run can be challenging. Having an exit or succession plan does not mean the end of your business. It’s the intentional creation of a strategic plan that will help your company achieve its highest potential. 

Whether it’s planned or unplanned, 100% of owners will leave their companies at some point, according to a recent survey from the Business Enterprise Institute, Inc. Just 6% of respondents said they hadn’t yet considered their exit options. It’s clear business owners are contemplating their exits. However, setting the right goals and doing the work are essential to getting to the finish line. 

The process of creating and enacting an exit plan is not always easy. Thus, 38% of respondents reported having difficulty planning because their processes needed to be improved. Proper planning can answer key questions, help you expand your options, craft a viable strategy, and increase your net worth.  

At RVR, we’ve facilitated hundreds of transactions nationwide. Whether you’re planning your first exit or anticipating one, a well-structured plan will ensure you’re on track for success. It’s critical to consider who your future buyer may be and why they may be interested in buying your business. With our experience, we ensure your years of dedication and work will  pay off for the ultimate exit.  

Maximizing value is always the goal 

Exit planning can be challenging for those who are deeply immersed in an organization. A plan should cover when and how you intend to sell your business as well as define your desired return on investment. It should also consider the market environment, competition and potential buyers. This is an excellent time to have RVR conduct an exit readiness assessment. Our team will work with you to develop a plan that suits your personal and professional goals, along with implementing and monitoring it to ensure success. 

Through our assessment, we examine dozens of critical factors that could positively or negatively impact your business value. According to the BEI survey, 52% of respondents said their companies built substantial business value. However, only 35% obtained independent valuations. Properly determining an owner’s business value is essential, and a business advisor can help pinpoint it more accurately. 

We also examine where clients want to go, if they’re on the right path, and any potential roadblocks that may hinder their progress. We work with clients to explore all their options, such as selling to another business or a private investor, taking on a partner, or closing the business entirely. We provide insight into the purchase price ranges that buyers will be willing to pay. It’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages associated with each one.   

From there, our team can suggest strategies that will ensure clients reach their goals. Plus, the information you gain from our assessment will help you make smart business decisions — whether you decide to sell or not. While the assessment is an essential step, it’s primarily by implementing and executing the recommendations that companies can maximize their business value. 

Planning in a challenging economic climate 

Despite inflation fears, bank run threats, and fluctuating interest rates, it’s not necessarily a bad time to sell. Entrepreneurs who’ve made it a habit to plan and review their exit strategies are better equipped to adapt to such situations and opportunities. Plus, new sales opportunities emerge during economic downturns. You can offer real solutions, expand your services, and come up with innovations your competitors may not have thought of. And depending on your industry, there are always buyers looking to purchase companies. 

As your business grows and evolves, your exit strategy will likely transform as well. You should ideally reassess your exit strategy at least once a year or more often in order to ensure that it’s still in line with your overall business goals.  

Having accurate information on hand and managing metrics efficiently can help companies make effective business decisions and remain agile in uncertain economic times. When economic conditions are shaky, companies should pay attention to cash management. A 13-week cash dashboard helps companies visualize weekly and quarterly ebbs and flows, making it easier to adjust course and make informed decisions. Through our assessment, we can ensure you have the metrics you need to make the right decisions. 

Beginning at the end 

Spending time creating and executing your exit strategy will guarantee that when you’re ready to exit, you will feel confident and prepared. Entrepreneurs are opportunistic by nature. However, it is possible for them to lose sight of opportunities if they become engrossed in their day-to-day business tasks and forget to look outside. 

That’s why consultants are valuable. It’s critical to understand what the future holds for your industry. A potential buyer should be able to understand your company’s growth trajectory. We can provide you with a fresh perspective, tell you what are the real opportunities, and show you how to take advantage of them. 

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs can make is putting off their exit strategy until they’re ready to retire. By working with RVR, you can feel confident about your company’s direction and the resources you invest in it. And you’ll benefit from a well-designed exit strategy that gives you peace of mind and puts you in a better position for success at the end of your business journey. 

Whether your business needs second-tier management, accurate financials, or a clear brand identity, our team understands the challenges and how to overcome them. Our third-party expertise can provide valuable insights and practical suggestions tailored to your specific needs. It’s important to be ready to seize any opportunity whether a sale is on the table or not. 

Interested in learning how RVR can help you develop a successful exit strategy? Reach out to us at 407-677-0400 or email  to schedule a no-obligation discovery call.

See other articles in this series, including How to Build Your Business For a Successful Exit Strategy. 


RVR Consulting Group provides your company with resources to support your vision and generate faster returns. By operating from both a strategic and tactical position, we protect clients during critical periods of uncertainty. Our services include advising, talent acquisition, sourcing fractional employees, exit planning, and selling your business. Regardless of your challenges, our firm’s experience is structured to make the road to your objectives faster, simpler, and more profitable. Our goal is simple: help you maximize the value of your business.

We are motivated to foster growth and develop opportunities for companies and their internal staff. Those economic impacts transcend into communities when our clients succeed and have invaluable, lasting effects.

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