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There are many stages to owning a business. The first stage is inspiration and motivation. You have a great idea and you’re thinking about doing something with it. Then comes the planning stage.
You begin taking steps to turn your business idea into a reality. You research your competition, learn more about your audience, and start the business plan creation process. Then you open your doors. This is a great time in the life of an entrepreneur. It’s incredibly rewarding. It’s also a bit stressful but in a good way.
Then you go through the process of building your business, introducing more products or services, and taking strategic steps to grow your business. You can roll along at this stage of business ownership for a few months or for several decades. It all depends on the surprises that life throws at you and your personal priorities and goals.
Eventually, due to a planned life change or an unexpected event, it becomes time for the final phase of entrepreneurship – exiting your business. If you haven’t planned for this moment, then it can take you quite by surprise. It’s not something you want to be unprepared for.
If you don’t have an exit strategy you put yourself at the risk of undervaluing your company, losing control over the exit process or not meeting your personal, financial or business goals.
What Exactly Is An Exit Strategy and Why Should You Have One?
An exit strategy is actually part of your business plan. In the sequence of documents within a business plan, the exit strategy is the last portion of the plan. It outlines how you want to leave or let go of your company.
While it may feel too soon to start planning for the end, planning your exit strategy early on is essential. An exit plan allows you to build a stronger business.
An exit strategy gives you the ability to build your business to achieve your long-term goals. For example, let’s say that you decide that your exit will be to sell your business and use the money to start an early retirement.
You can then take measures to focus on growth areas that will provide you with the highest sales price. You can position your business and your systems to be highly competitive and easy to acquire.
An exit strategy also helps you control how and when you exit. Life is full of surprises and events like death, divorce and disability can impact your ability to do business. If you have an exit plan, you don’t have to worry about losing control.
There is more than one way to exit your business. Next, let’s take a look at your options so you can choose the path that is best for your personal and professional goals.
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