You are reading: Step 1 – Introduction and Overview of Exit Strategies

Craig West

Founder & Chairman

An exit strategy isn’t just about selling your business; it’s a comprehensive roadmap that defines your business’s future, ensuring success for you, your family, your stakeholders, and the legacy you leave behind.

Crafting a robust exit strategy is a fundamental step for any business owner. It provides a clear pathway for the future and ensures that the years you’ve invested in the business are rewarded, not just financially, but also in terms of legacy and continuity.

Diverse Exit Avenues

Your exit strategy is a multifaceted plan, encompassing various possibilities, such as selling to private equity, going public through an IPO, or transitioning ownership to the next generation. Each exit avenue demands rigorous preparation and strategizing.

As a business owner, you often get consumed in the day-to-day operations, striving to enhance sales, optimize marketing strategies, attract more customers, and elevate profits. However, you might neglect to pause and contemplate the core reason you embarked on this entrepreneurial journey – the problem you aimed to solve.

Critical Aspects of Exit and Succession Planning

Initially, most businesses are created from a desire to address specific problems. Whether it’s designing beautiful buildings, fixing plumbing issues, or providing legal solutions, businesses are problem solvers. However, amidst the whirlwind of running a business, the fundamental problem is often overlooked – how to exit the business and extract the value amassed over years, even generations.

Successful exit and succession planning hinge on three critical aspects. First, the business must be primed and ready, with risks managed and preparations in place for ownership and management transitions. Second, the financial aspect, encompassing both business and personal finances, is pivotal. Adequate readiness for retirement or embarking on the next venture is crucial. Finally, your post-business plans play a vital role in a seamless exit.

There are diverse avenues for business exit, such as selling the business, passing it down to the next generation, or exploring options like an IPO, private equity sale, employee share plans, or management buyouts. However, they all require meticulous preparation, and the most successful exits are those with extensive preparation periods.

The Comprehensive 21-Step Exit Strategy












In this detailed guide, we present 21 steps across five stages to maximize the value of your business and ensure a successful exit. Each step is carefully crafted to guide you through the intricacies of a successful exit, paving the way for a bright future beyond your business.

Remember, preparing for an exit strategy is not just a financial move – it’s about ensuring a thriving legacy for your business and securing a prosperous life after business. Stay tuned as we navigate through the stages and steps, unraveling the secrets to successfully exiting like a boss.

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