Let’s look at some of the challenges people face when they’re trying to work out their exit strategies.
The major challenge is usually people just figuring out what they want to do – how to get started. One of the best places to start is by getting a valuation assessment on the business and figuring how much it’s worth.
Close behind determining value is thinking about what your future plans are and where potential buyers might be. Do you know someone who might be interested in buying the business down the track? If not, where do you go to meet people who buy businesses?
In general, the valuation is the best place to start because, if you don’t like the answers you get, you can start working on how to improve. What do you need to do? What systems need to be put in place? What are some other items you need to take care of to ensure that when you eventually exit, you’ll be happy with what you’ve done and where you’re going?
The key is to give yourself as much time as possible to plan your exit. The best time to think about leaving is when you start – it doesn’t matter if you want to exit in two years, five years or 10 years. You want to run your business well and set yourself up for success at the same time.