Now is the Time to Start Exit Planning – Here’s Why

Many business owners feel shaken by the impact of the pandemic on the business climate and may be questioning whether their vision of the future is still possible. One of the best antidotes to uncertainty is having a solid plan!

It’s never the wrong time to start exit planning, and the more lead time you allow yourself, the more likely you’ll be able to exit your business on your terms. Additionally, in circumstances like those we are experiencing today, business owners can glean valuable information that they may not have been privy to under “normal” circumstances.

Specifically, you’ve likely seen firsthand the effects that external factors beyond your control can have on your business; you’ve had to learn to pivot, adapt, and look out for your employees. You’ve also witnessed ways in which unpredictable events can quickly change the challenges and demands that are put on your family, staff and community – those who will also be impacted by the effectiveness of your exit plan. This is valuable information for exit planning that typically isn’t available to most business owners in reality, only as speculation. While these events and their effects on you, your business, and those who rely on you are fresh in your mind, don’t miss the opportunity to take stock.

A solid exit plan will benefit your business now in many ways:

  • It devises a well-charted course in which you can place your confidence
  • It provides a record of the lessons learned from past and current issues that will help you construct contingency plans
  • It can help you move forward and re-establish what will be normalcy for your business – which may indeed mean one that is more agile, adaptable and positioned for change.

Going through the process of developing an exit strategy and a tactical plan to put that strategy into action, results in a well-researched, well-thought-out route into the future.

Where to Start

Begin by setting your exit date and work backwards to determine what you need to do today in order to get there. Charting a course that leads up to the day you’ll eventually exit is a plan that is often more comprehensive than most business plans – with accountability built in.  As you build your plan, refer to my blog, What Does Your Vision Look Like For the Next Chapter of Your Life? With a target date in place and a vision for the future, you’ll be motivated to jump in and start working on the specifics. There’s a step-by-step process for exit planning that will neutralize the intimidation factor. You’ll be inspired as you see things fall into place and are able to envision your future, your successful exit, and the next chapter of your life.

Next, take our online Exit Planning Assessment to identify where you stand in relation to your exit objectives. Our Value Driver Analysis will help determine the current value of your business and what it must be worth for you to achieve your exit planning financial objectives. Identifying your “gap” and filling it, is obviously a critical and major component of exit planning. This step will also illustrate why you need years to cultivate and protect the value of your business, and therefore, the importance of starting your exit plan now.

Then contact me for a complimentary consultation to determine the best next steps for your particular situation. If you’re like most business owners, you’re counting on the proceeds from the sale of your business to maintain the security of your lifestyle and that of your family, following your exit from that business. Use the valuable information these unexpected circumstances have provided and take this opportunity, when you may have more time available, to re-create your future and restore your excitement and hope by starting – or reevaluating – your exit plan.

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