I just returned from our annual partner’s conference in Anaheim, CA. As stated in my previous article, we spent much of our time on exit strategies for business owners. Developing an exit strategy is important at any stage of a business but especially so for those who want to exit in the next few years. The reason for this urgency in proper exit planning is due to the baby boomer business owners that are planning to retire. They will flood the market as they sell their businesses at the same time. The SBA Office of Advocacy stated there were 27.9 million small businesses in 2010. Additionally, some sources say that Baby Boomers own 12,000,000 of these businesses and that 70% of these will change hands (Mills,p.25). There is nothing that can be done to stop this “tsunami”. Boomers are going to be putting their companies on the market. What this means to you as a business owner is only those companies who are best prepared to sell will command the highest price with the most favorable terms. Your company will be competing with other companies in a buyer’s market. What can you do to prepare? Our firm believes there is a ten step process to thoroughly prepare your company. Please watch the following video that describes this process.
The late Steven Covey said one of the habits of highly effective people is to “begin with the end in mind.” Covey said this “means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction (Covey,p.98).” You will exit your company. It is not a matter of if, but when. For some, it will be very soon. I urge you to take the steps to exit successfully and on your terms.
*Mills, Jerry L., (2013), The Exit Strategy Handbook
*Covey, Stephen R., (1989) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People