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Planning and Executing Your Successful Exit Strategy

Whatever arena you’re competing in, building up a business to one which you can be really proud of takes lot of hard work, passion, determination and grit. Putting in a half-cooked effort won’t yield the success required, this even if you’ve perhaps inherited the business you’re operating, for example if your natural course of action is to take over the family business or something along those lines.

All too often we hear of the second generation in family businesses falling from grace rather spectacularly, often as a result of the second generation taking over not quite harbouring the grassroots passion the founder had for the business. Nevertheless, this is but just one of many reasons why an exit strategy would need to be put in place, in which specific case and all other cases it would have to be a solid business exit strategy.

Build up a solid succession story

The success of a business or venture of any sort is measured by one thing and one thing only, which is how profitable it is. However, this isn’t the only reason why someone would want to buy a business from someone else. The prospective buyer of your business may be seeking to buy it with a bigger picture they have in mind, such as perhaps expanding their own operations with what is the missing piece of the puzzle contained in your business which is up for sale. They may also be seeking to take the business in a different direction or integrate the existing operational infrastructure, network, contacts, credibility, etc into their operation, so these are things you need to look at as part of the construction process of your succession story.

Does the business have a stated and publicised mission and vision perhaps, which are two key driving factors of your business you’ve published on your website maybe? If so, there is no better way to construct a succession story than to highlight that at this very point in time as a result of some hard work over the years, the business has delivered on its original mission and vision.

Build up a solid succession plan

A solid progress and succession story should be backed up by a solid succession plan, in other words a potential buyer should be able to look at your succession story and see a succession plan which they can implement and execute immediately, ideally with very little interruptions to the existing operational structure of the business. This can perhaps be best achieved by roping in the professionals, with the likes of demonstrating their specific expert knowledge on the ins and outs of exactly what’s required at this stage.

True to the trending #SellSavvy drive, it’s ultimately all about ensuring both parties involved in the handover of the business walk away with the value they each want.

Remember that an exit strategy doesn’t necessarily explicitly involve the outright sale of a business from willing seller to willing buyer, but could also take the form of listing publically or facilitating a part-sale. In either case, the most important part of the equation is having your books in order so that the success and potential success of your business can be quantified.