Exiting a Business Properly Begins with the End in Mind

Ask yourself, “Will I prepare my family and business for my exit or will I leave it to the winds of fate?”

Often business owners don’t want to address their exit because it may entail giving up control of a company that they have poured their life into building. However, avoiding the topic of exiting does not change the basic fact that the time to exit will come, and that it is lucrative to have a plan for when it does. The question will never be, ‘Will I exit my business?’ but instead, the question is, ‘When I exit my business, will I do it well?” The sooner this question is raised and the sooner the idea of leaving is accepted, the more successful the outcome can be.

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You may be wondering, ‘Where do I begin planning?’ and the answer is simple, begin with the end in mind. By establishing a finish line you are completing a crucial part of the entire exiting process. Identifying your finish line is as easy as answering the following three questions:

  1. When do I want to transition out of my business?
  2. To whom do I want to sell or leave my business?
  3. How much will I need to secure my financial independence?

Instead of fearing the inevitable, take advantage of the knowledge that you will eventually exit your company and work towards it with intention. Ease into your transition by creating a plan that allows you to exit in a way that leaves you fully satisfied in retirement, and with a successful business that continues your legacy. As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you may not get there.”

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