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Why you should be thinking about your exit strategy now

8 November 2018 / By Desley Grant

Planning for the future allows you to communicate your goals and build value into your organisation. But when you're just starting your business, you're not exactly thinking about the end game.

However, devising your exit strategy in the early stages of your business is actually an important part of every business plan.

An exit plan should align with the vision, goals and values of your business and allow you to bring your business to an end with a clear purpose. Knowing what this is will help direct your path through distribution, brand profile, and partnerships. It will also provide focus and help you share a clear vision with your staff.

Of course, a successful strategy takes time to devise, so you need to start planning it now. In this blog, we explain why an exit business plan is important and how to start putting yours in place. 

Creating a logical exit plan will help you work smarter, not harder, by giving you a clear goal as you head towards this transition. Let's look at some of the other benefits in more detail.


It will help you shape your business

Executing a well-thought-out exit strategy will not only ensure your business continues to thrive after you leave, it will put it in strong position as you work towards this end goal. With this in mind, build a plan to complement your direction and make organisational decisions that are compatible with your exit goals. If you're planning to sell your business, keep in mind that you'll need data that show ongoing performance and growth.

Build the personal skills you need to reach where you want to be

To prepare for your transition out of the business, focus on establishing the skills you need to achieve your legacy. Part of this might include providing partners and other staff with what they need to take over from you. What are the skills and knowledge that you and your employees need to succeed? Seek relationships early with the right people who will facilitate a smooth exit. Consider working with a mentor or business advisor to help you develop in areas outside of your expertise. 

Get ready for retirement

Before finalising your plan, test your customers, suppliers and partners for their perceptions of your brand and factor this in. As you move towards retirement, you need to ensure the company can work without you, which is often a difficult step if you have been involved in every aspect of it. What will happen when you leave? You need to figure out a new way for the business to drive forward so managers and staff succeed without your input. 

Start taking steps now to assess your role in the company and to enable staff to take over your responsibilities. A successful exit strategy is a common-sense move that will put your company in a great position now, and as you move towards the end game. Remember, it can take years to get to the position you're aiming for, so start planning now. 

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