Plan Well Ahead for Your Business Exit

Talk of exit is possibly something of a sensitive subject this week.

Without indicating any personal views, I think it’s safe to observe that the previous couple of years in Westminster have given us a perfect example of the need to plan rigorously for big changes.

Selling or passing on a business might be the most fundamental change many business owners ever make. If your exit is a sale, you probably want a settlement that reflects your time investment over the years.

Therefore the confusion over Brexit is a very timely reminder to all business owners of the need to identify an experienced team and an efficient exit plan, in advance.

What planning have you done to prepare for the future?

What do you even want from the future? Have you discussed and agreed this future with others in your life? Is your business structured to cope with life after you leave? Are you clear on what you will do with your days after the event?

Will the financial settlement secure enough funds for your life post-sale? Do you have people on your side who can value your business credibly, and who also know how to manage the exit process all the way to a successful conclusion?

In our recent business-owner survey, 8% of respondents didn’t expect they’d ever leave their business. A further 12% hadn’t considered exit at all. However “exit” is one nailed-on certainty for us all. 

Whilst we can’t always time this event to our liking, we can ensure there are plans in place to cope when the moment comes.

Dwight Eisenhower noted that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”. He witnessed this phenomenon in battle and politics, so he’s probably a reliable witness. However, the lesson for the rest of us must surely be that time spent thinking about, anticipating and planning for an exit is invaluable if we are to achieve a desired outcome.  

If you would like help with this advance planning conversation, please give me a call on 0113 2211 300 or email nick.palmer@armstrongwatson.co.uk

Contact Nick

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