“I’ll never sell this business!”. It is often said and maybe it’s true, but circumstances can change for all of us. Relationships break down, Health issues arise. Even if you never sell, do your family even want to carry the business on when you are no longer able to. This is your passion. It may not be theirs.

You need to think about this. And even if you never execute the exit at least you have a plan in mind.

In planning the exit there are several things to consider.
1. How much money do I need, after all costs and taxes, to realise from this business?
2. How long from now would I want to sell?
3. How are sales typically done in my industry for this type of business?
4. Am I prepared to stay on with the business after the sale? For how long?
5. What am I going to do with myself after I leave the business?

Only a few questions are covered here but there is a lot underneath for all of these, that consultants make a lot of money from in executing. You can start to ponder over these yourself. My dog is very fit because I think about this stuff when I go out walking with him. And I think about this stuff a lot!

You don’t have to have this perfectly formed early on, but it is something to continue to refine. It’s also important because in answering a lot of these questions, for example, how much would I sell for, and when will have a large bearing on the strategy that you set. Can you achieve what you want with the current strategy and supporting business model you have? Are there ways you need to adjust your products and services that will help you achieve your exit objectives.

And remember, even if you don’t exit, but achieve your exit objectives, the chances are that you have made your business a whole lot more valuable, so that you can use that as the new baseline for the next phase of the business.