Exiting Your Business Is Hard

Posted Friday, September 16th, 2011. Filed Under Corporate - Tips/Tools Blog

When you have spent your entire life building your business and then decide it is time to slow down – this process can be challenging on so many levels.

Exiting a business and making a smooth transition into retirement in particularly tough for entrepreneurs. You invest so much of your time and energy that slowing down is foreign to you. Often, it is a way that we define ourselves.

Below are key strategies to exit a business gracefully:

1. There is no magic time – there are so many variables that can conflict with you leaving: what’s going on in the company, in the industry, in the capital markets, in the economy – In order to exit and potentially sell the company, it is essential to continue to create value in your company. The best way to sell a company is to have a good company. Build strong management and teams and have them in place.

2. Understand the value of your company today – Use a methodology you have confidence in. Understand what your value is doing over a fairly regular period – quarterly, semi annually, annually – so you have a true sense on what it is doing. This critical piece of information will help you realize what is driving you to sell. Is it to meet the financial obligations? Do you see trouble down the road? Once you know what it is really worth, you can more objectively look at why you are selling and whether it still makes sense.

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