A lot of business owners know they should have an exit plan in place, but fail to develop one. This is a major problem. All owners should ensure they have a plan for exiting their business in place from the start of their enterprise.
With an exit strategy in place, you’ll be able to keep your business moving in the right direction since you’ll be aligning constantly with the long-term goals you’ve set. An exit strategy also ensures there’s a trigger event to signal the time has come to get out. Without one, you’ll just carry on without ever knowing when the time has come to stop.
There is one thing to note, though. Your exit strategy will certainly change with time, so it has to be reviewed often. Writing down your exit strategy then re-reading it and reviewing it every 6 months to make updates is the best solution.
With this in mind, the team at CBS-CBS.com outlines these simple steps to help prepare your business exit strategy.
1. Sourcing A Buyer
One thing that many business owners fail to consider is how to find a buyer for their company. A lot of owners just naturally assume somebody out there will be interested in purchasing their business, but this is a big mistake. In fact, only a quarter of all saleable companies exit.
One critical element of your exit strategy is to keep a list of prospective buyers. They may be businesses or individuals who have shown an interest previously in buying the business. They may even be competitors who have an interest in acquiring the business once the time has come.
2. Reoccurring Revenue
Revenue represents a key element of a business exit strategy. It isn’t only about the amount of revenue you have, it’s also about the form it takes when it arrives. Subscription-based services and products producing predictable and reoccurring revenue present an attractive proposition to prospective buyers.
Automatically billing in advance is a wise strategy. If all revenue has been set up to be recurring payments, your business will be an extremely attractive option for purchase.
3. A Strong Pattern Of Growth
A business that has displayed strong patterns of growth will be attractive to potential buyers. Predictable and steady financial growth couldn’t be more important. As long as erratic growth swings can be avoided, some tips that are explained easily won’t affect your business’s appeal to purchasers.
4. Standard Procedures Of Operation
If your business doesn’t have a written set of operating procedures, developing them now is vital. Your business should reach the point where should you have a sudden accident and be unable to run your operation yourself, the company would be able to carry on running with no disruptions. Detailing everything from your core values, management practices, mission, vision, and execution strategy to your marketing and sales plans will ensure that prospective buyers have no difficulty in taking over your business.
Every small business owner will have to exit at some future point, and it’s foolish to assume somebody will be ready to buy it when the time is right. If you follow these four steps, you’ll have the best chance of making a successful sale once you’re ready to make the move.