The very first point to make about exit planning is that selling your business is not the only option. When you cannot be sure what you might get, selling your business might not be the right option. You also bear in mind that you may not be able to find a buyer.
When we think about exit planning, we mean just that, “planning” for “exit” of the business. No matter how you plan to exit, you will still need to do much of the work.
Exit planning is perhaps the hardest yet most important period in the life cycle of a business. This event that may only happen once, yet the owner’s future can be profoundly effected. Research shows that many owners fail to achieve full or fair value for their business. The key reasons for this failure are:
- Value expectations and timescales may be unrealistic;
- Poor preparation within the business before the sale;
- Unwillingness to use professional advisors;
- Inadequate resources allied to the exit process.
Planning for your exit strategy
To get the most for your business on sale you need careful advanced planning. You should start thinking about the issues several years before you plan to sell. The actual exit process will take 6 to 12 months. Furthermore the process may need varying degrees of preparation. Depending on the condition of the business before sale, this could be several years. It is best to think in terms of 3 to 5 years, depending on what needs doing.
If you think you want to start thinking about exiting your business, please call or email and we can help with taking it forward with you.