Build your business so your legacy lives on for your successors. These steps to creating a comprehensive financial exit strategy will help you leave your business thriving.
As a successful business owner, you’ve invested a lot of time and money into building your business - not to mention the many sacrifices you’ve likely made throughout your career to see your business reach its full potential. But there may come a time when you want to exit the business, whether it's to retire, pursue other interests, or simply move on to something new. When that time comes, you want to make sure that you leave your business in a position to thrive.
The right financial exit strategy can help you achieve that goal, with the help of an experienced financial advisor. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
The first step in any successful exit strategy is to plan ahead. You need to start thinking about your exit strategy well in advance, ideally several years before you plan to exit the business. This will give you time to prepare your business for sale or transfer, and to address any issues that may be holding it back. The more time you invest in preparing your business - and yourself - for your eventual transition, the more seamless that transition will be.
Whether you’re years away from your desired exit date or it’s coming down to the wire, the best time to start preparing yourself and your business was yesterday - and the second-best time is today. We’re prepared to work with business owners at all stages of exit planning, so don’t let that hold you back.
Identify Your Goals
Before you can choose an exit strategy that’s right for you, you need to identify your goals. What do you want to achieve from the sale or transfer of your business? Do you want to maximize the sale price, or are you more concerned with finding the right buyer who will continue to run the business in the same way you have? Once you’ve identified your goals, you can start to explore the different exit strategies that are available to you.
Explore Your Options
There are several different exit strategies that you can consider, depending on your goals and the nature of your business. Some of the most common options include:
Selling the business outright to a third party
Transferring ownership to family members or key employees
Going public through an initial public offering (IPO)
Liquidating the business and selling off its assets
Each of these options has its pros and cons, and the right choice will depend on your specific circumstances and the legacy you’d like to leave behind. It's important to work with a financial advisor like our team Washington Avenue Advisors, who can help you evaluate your options and choose the one that is best for you.
Work Through Our Business Attractiveness + Exit Readiness Assessment (Program)
This program is designed to help business owners attract and retain key people as well as provide continuity for your people and customers. We’ll help you identify gaps through a comprehensive analysis of both your personal and professional goals. Then, we’ll create a written, step-by-step plan that will help you achieve your desired outcome that positions you for a successful exit or succession.
Prepare Your Business for Possible Future Sale
If you decide to sell your business, you need to make sure that it is in the best possible shape to attract buyers and command a good price. This may involve making improvements to your operations, financial reporting, and management team. You may also need to work with a business broker or investment banker to help you find potential buyers and negotiate the sale. A firm like WAA can provide you with an accurate assessment of your business’s value, and help you position yourself for growth far ahead of your eventual transition.
Communicate with Stakeholders
Once you have a robust strategy in place, it's important to communicate with all of the stakeholders in your business about your exit plans. This includes your employees, customers, suppliers, and investors. You want to make sure that everyone is aware of your plans and that you have a plan in place to minimize any disruption to the business.
Exiting a business can be a complex and emotional process, but with the right planning and preparation, you can leave your business in a position to thrive. By working with a financial advisor like Washington Avenue Advisors and thoroughly exploring, understanding, and evaluating your options, you can choose the exit strategy that is best for you and your business.
Ready to begin preparing your exit strategy? Reach out to our experienced team today. We’ll give you a plan, and guide your decisions so that you’re confident in your financial future.