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Posted by Bob Brown on 28 Sept '10

Exit planning

The importance of exit strategies and the benefits of exit plans.

If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren't doing enough asking.

Jack Canfield

Let’s put this into perspective: you have spent your whole life's work building your business, providing income and wealth for you and your family. You’ve worked hard to achieve what you have; you’ve put in the hours and reaped the rewards. But what if the reward didn’t have to stop when you decided to retire?

There aren’t many people in life that will start something with the sole intention of ending it. We start our businesses out of passion, skill and determination. We aspire to become the best in our field and we’re inspired by the idea.

So, why do inspire2aspire offer exit coaching, you may ask?

Owners of businesses often expect their company to act as their pension fund but have they actually worked out how to make this happen in terms of how much they need, what they will do with the business, tax and timing.

Over time, you have built a successful company that now could potentially be worth millions of pounds. Why not plan an exit strategy from a position of strength to receive the highest and best deal the market has to offer?

inspire2aspire Director, Bob Brown, has experience from every aspect of business, finance and exit strategy. He spent 15 years working initially as an accountant, then in sales and export. Over the past 16 years, he has specialised, in advising entrepreneurs on exit and succession planning. He works to get the business noticed and recognised by potential buyers and enabling the business owner to see which parts of their business hold the most value.

The one thing to remember here is that you will leave your business and, because of that; there is only one way you, as an owner, can successfully exit your business… Create an Exit Plan.

The planning needs to be put into place as early as possible and then progress it for as long as you maintain your business. Without a plan, exiting your business can appear daunting and, as a result, owners wait until it is too late to undertake it. The plan may change but having no plan is planning to fail, or planning to leave with nothing.

If you have an exit plan it allows you to choose your preferred type of exit. Many people only think of a trade sale but you can also have a management buyout, a management buy in, a combination of both, a merger, franchise your business, look for a flotation on the Plus market or AIM. Professional practices and family businesses often go down a succession route.

And the good news is that if you have an exit plan not only will it help increase the long term value of your business for when you exit but it will also help increase your profits in the short term.

The idea of handing over your lifetime’s work to a buyer may be daunting but let’s look at this properly - it will just fizzle away without you. If it’s pride that’s holding you back – would you rather your pride and joy fade into obscurity?