How to prepare your business for exit

So, you’ve built a successful business that is turning a profit. Well, What’s next?

This is where an exit strategy comes into play. An exit strategy ensures the business your leaving is going to keep on growing in your absence. A business exit can come in many different forms; you may be handing it over to a new owner such as a family member. You may want to sell the business on and take an early retirement or even continue to receive passive income and take on a new challenge.

Whatever you plan to do you need to make sure your business is in the best shape for you to step away. Here we have the 6 best tips to prepare your business for exit.

Create the business that gives you the life you’ve always dreamed of…


Set your objectives

It’s important when you begin to think about an exit, what you want to achieve. You’ve spent years building and growing this business and you want to make sure this next step is the right one. Each exit will be slightly different and allow you to do different things but making sure it’s the right move for you shouldn’t be something taken lightly.

This is the next phase of your career, and you need to make sure it’s right.


Don’t rush

Ensure plenty of time to get your business in check before you look to exit. If you rush and leave before the business is ready, then the business won’t be successful, and you will find yourself having to come back.

An exit strategy can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, you will have to evaluate the right length of time for you. Factors on this could be the shape of your business or when you want to move on. The key part is to make sure when you do leave that the business is prepared for your exit and can continue to be profitable for many years to come.


Made yourself redundant

Chances are if you built your business from the ground up, you are an essential part of its growth and profitability. Slowly drawing back your involvement and allowing new management to take over with your guidance, whether that be through promotion or recruitment. This ensures when you do fully step back the business is no worse off and can still turn a profit and has future growth potential.


Up to date accounts

If you are looking to sell, then it’s vital to make sure your accounts are in order and up to date. Any serious buyer will want to look at your accounts and will help you give an honest and fair valuation.


Create systems and processes

With an exit on your mind, it’s likely new people will be coming into the business, whether through recruitment or sale. Create a “manual” for the business and imagine a stranger was going to come in and run your business and all you had to give them was this manual. This should be done for all tasks at all levels, this will help the business run smoother and spot any potential errors before they arise.


Handover to new management

As stated above no matter what your exit strategy is, it’s likely someone new will be taking over your role and fulfilling the duties you held. Introduce the new management to your employees and key clients. Informing your team about the transition will help it run smoother and make sure you are around to answer any questions or concerns. Try and be open and honest, this will be a tremendous change for your team.

You may have been pivotal in winning a large client and it’s important for you to be the one to introduce the new management, give them your seal of approval and begin to build that trust between the new management. You can oversee the transitional process and make sure the business is ready for your exit.

In summary

Exiting the business can take a bit longer than you expected, but it’s vital that the necessary people and processes are in place for the business to thrive in your absence. You can then turn your focus to your chosen next phase, whether you plan to use your passive income to invest, live your life on the beach in the Caribbean or take on a new business. You’ve done it before why not do it again?

If you would like to discuss your exit strategy and how to make sure your business is ready for your exit, then book a free coaching session with one of our Business Growth Specialists and see how to maximize your business exit.

If you would like to discuss your business plan and make sure you are set up for success, book a FREE coaching session with one of our certified Business Growth Specialists and discover how to unlock your full business potential.

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