Have you ever considered an exit strategy for your business? Most business owners never put a single thought into potentially selling their business, passing it on, or whether the doors will just close when they no longer can run their business.
An exit plan was always part of our thoughts. We built in Standard Operating Systems, we chose a universal name that wasn’t dependent on us personally, we left a paper trail a mile wide to track our history of growth, changes and experiences. As we built, we designed our business to operate without us someday. That was our big dream. We never expected to have an opportunity to exit as early as we did.
Even when we bought our bison ranch with partners from my father-in-law we dropped it’s historical name of Fioravanti Bison Ranch and changed it Red Cedar Bison. Who knows, maybe it will be a legacy ranch, or maybe it won’t be. But as we build we build with the end in mind.
When I considered opening up author services I pondered putting it on my website with the heaviest traffic which is KaylaFioravanti.com, but then how would I sell some day? I couldn’t neatly extract myself from the business and pass it onto another person if my name was on it.
Consider how new products, new divisions, new businesses could be duplicatable without you. Could someone carry your legacy on? Could they build it bigger with or without you?
The reality that someday you will either exit your business to retire, due to illness, death, or you are just ready to do something else should be part of the thought process of every business owner.
The Small Business Association (SBA) has a page called Closing Down Your Business with the following topics cover:
- Plan Your Exit
- Steps to Closing a Business
- Selling Your Business
- Transfer Ownership
- Legal Resources for Exiting
- Liquidating Assets
- Filing for Bankruptcy Protection
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn
Make a plan!