Updated July 13, 2023
What is a Business Exit Strategy?
A business exit strategy is a well-thought and well-planned strategy designed and formulated to simply get out of the business or sell a business either by exiting transfer, succession, or any other mode.
Examples of Business Exit Strategy
In this article, we discuss how planning a business exit strategy can help save many businesses from dying untimely.
Let’s take an example of how a business exit strategy can work in our day-to-day lives.
Mr. SPC is in the business of trading household products all over the country. Mr. SPC has been in this field for quite a few decades now.
Now, it so happens that he cannot devote much time and cannot travel due to his physical limitations.
In such a scenario, it would be right for Mr. SPC to hand over the business to the next generation to carry on with the business. However, it is not so easy that one day, simply his children can come and take over the reins of the business.
Thus, having an exit strategy planned in advance would help Mr. SPC smoothly transfer the business reigns to his children.
Continuing the above example, say Mr. SPC’s children may not want to continue with the business. In such a case, he will have to either shut down the business or sell off business to either his employees (who may be willing to take over the business) or maybe some outside party for consideration.
Now, in such a situation, having a pre-planned exit strategy can be very helpful such that Mr. SPC would be aware of the value of his business, the market of his products, his legal documentation would be in place, and an estimated price that his business should be worth.
These things will help him in getting better offers and also assist him with better negotiation power.
On the contrary, if he does not have an exit plan, or in case of any sudden requirement leading to the closure of the business, it is possible that he may end up selling the business for a price lower than its business worth.
In either of the examples above, it can be seen that, whether it’s a decided succession of business or a sale and transfer of business, an exit plan needs to be there with every business owner.
What Factors Should be Considered in Business Exit Strategy?
Deciding on merely a purchase consideration or a sale price will not be enough when you plan for a business exit strategy. One needs to consider various factors to have a smooth business exit plan.
The following points are some of the factors to be considered for a smooth, efficient, and effective business exit:
Deciding on the mode of exit:
- Transfer of ownership or business
- Sale of the business – as a whole business,
- Sale of assets – individually,
- Selling a part of business,
- go for merger/demerger etc.
Find out about the prospective buyer to
- Existing stakeholders/partners,
- Family members of existing stakeholders/partners,
- The third party
- A party that is in a similar business
Deciding and analyzing factors such as
- The estimated price/consideration for the transfer or sale of business
- Who will take the reigns of the new business?
- synergizing the business
- optimizing the business worth
- selling of business at the right time
- how the business will benefit by the change of hands
- type of competitors out there in the market
- any specific training requirement for business
- any important key performing parameters
Planning and preparing for the aforementioned factors will help businesses have a good exit strategy for timely and smooth business transfer.
Importance of Business Exit Strategy
- A pre-planned business exit strategy is always helpful in times of sudden trend changes in the business.
- It keeps all stakeholders aware and aligned regarding what steps will be taken if there is a plan to sell the business at anytime.
- It is always good to know beforehand who might be interested in buying out / taking over your business.
- Pre-preparation of legal work and documentation in place always comes in handy.
- Avoids getting into trouble and dangers when unable to scale up the business due to inexperience in running a business.
Key Takeaways for Business Exit Strategy
- A plan for selling the stake or the company to existing or outside parties.
- It can be executed by transfer, merger, demerger, takeover, total buyout, or acquisition.
- An exit strategy can help restrict/limit losses if a business runs into losses.
- If a business is getting profits, it helps the owner dilute his stake by still getting profits.
- It helps in knowing the market beforehand for prospective sell-off.
- Helps in determining the company’s value and business demand in the market.
- It helps in capitalizing the business value at its maximum.
- It helps in being prepared for unexpected proposals and offers.
- Helps in better negotiations.
All in all, it is never a bad idea to have a business exit strategy in place. Also, having such a plan at the beginning is a great idea.
Exiting a business does not always mean closing or shutting down of business. Instead, it simply helps to be prepared in advance regarding the estimated right value and time for selling or transferring your business for its development and potential future growth.
On the other hand, if the business has not taken off well in the market, it is better to ask for assistance or exit the business. Remember, it is better to exit a business than continue running a failing business.
Ultimately the focus is on maximizing the benefits and value of the business, and an exit plan is as integral to the business as possible.
This is a guide to Business Exit Strategy. Here we also discuss the definition, examples, and factors that should be considered in Business Exit Strategy and its importance. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –