29 Dec Exit Planning: Start Now, Avoid the Rush (part 1)
Most business owners are so busy with customers, employees, and financial matters that they don’t have much time to think about how or when they’ll leave their business. Do yourself and your business a favor and give it some thought now, and it will pay off in a big way.
Having a plan that ensures an orderly transition and maximizes your proceeds isn’t something you can do quickly. In fact most experts recommend at least a two or three year plan. Besides the time, you probably need to involve some key people (family, staff) and outside experts. There should be a sense of urgency for aging baby boomers because there is going to be a surge in the number of owners who want to sell and retire in the next few years. If tens of thousands of businesses go on the market at the same time you’ll need to work hard to set your business apart so that it is more valuable and attractive.
The most common exit strategy for technology company owners involves learning how to sell the company. Their buyers may be direct competitors, employees, business partners, or larger companies. Another option is to transfer ownership to a family member. Unfortunately, some owners that didn’t plan and prepare for their exit are left with one bad option: winding down their business by selling off their assets.
(to be continued…)