Why would I ever need an exit strategy? You may be asking yourself that after seeing the title of this post.
In the past six weeks I have been asked that by three separate potential clients while we were meeting. Of course they prefaced it with, “we don’t expect it, but just in case.”
They all had a great point. You never know what is going to happen. People move. People die. Not all businesses live forever.
For me, with the work ethic I inherited from my dad, I could do this until I am old and gray (ha!), but most likely not. Whether your plan is to have your business for 10 years, 20 years, or build it to where you can merge with another, you need to know what the plan is when that days comes.
Having an exit strategy in mind will help you run your business better. After thinking about it, I did a little research and found some great insight into this.
Having an exit strategy will make you document everything – including your processes.
Imagine trying to explain 10 years of doing things to a person in a week. Without having anything written down. Documenting what you do and how will help in the end – it will also help if you hire people and delegate or if you have to step out of your role short-term.
Having an exit strategy will help you know how to value your business in the event someone does make an offer to buy your business.
Even if you have zero plans of selling your business, you never know who is watching you. I’ve had a few people over the past six years casually mention the word ‘partnership’ to me, but that isn’t something I am personally in it. I would love to buy another marketing agency and merge into that if the stars aligned (major long-term goal here). THAT would require an exit strategy.
Having an exit strategy takes some of the stress off of you, the business owner.
I am a plan-for-the-worst type. I like to have all bases covered, just in case. So knowing what my exit strategy is takes some stress off of me because I know what will happen and how things will go. Now, I do not plan for that to happen for MANY, MANY years (my husband has to retire first!) but it’s there… just in case.
All that being said, hopefully it’s given you something to think about. So, what is your business’ exit strategy?