What is your exit plan for your business?


It may seem a strange notion, but planning your exit strategy should really form part of your business plan. Let’s look at some of the options and their advantages and disadvantages:


Selling to another buyer is possibly the most common exit plan, as well as perhaps the simplest. After all, your business is worth whatever a buyer will pay for it.


- It’s an ideal option for a fast-growing business, attracting buyers who see it as an opportunity or a threat


- The idea is a nonstarter if your business is unattractive to buyers. For example, your sector may have been strong at the time, but has become less investable now that you plan to sell it

Family businesses

It’s only natural that you want to see your company go to someone who will cherish it in the same way, but the option is declining in popularity. Indeed, author and business expert Robert M. Trottier concluded in his 2009 book ‘Middle Market Strategies’ that family transfers had decreased by 50% since 1980.


- You can be confident that your business will be in good hands
- Your empire remains within the family, and helps keep loved ones financially secure


- It may not be the most lucrative of options, with a family member being less likely to pay as much as an outside investor
- Disagreements about management can create awkward situations among those closest to you


A third option is to simply wind the company up, sell of any assets, pay outstanding dues and call it a day.


- You can make a fresh start and move on to a new challenge
- It can result in a healthy financial return, with outsourced management accounting services helping to put you in a favourable position


- It’s imperative that your company is in good shape when you wind it up, and doesn’t owe money
- Depending upon your circumstances, having a liquidation against your name could hamper your chances of successful borrowing if you wish to set up a new company afterwards


A company that’s hugely successful and has high growth rates will be able to consider an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Shares are issued and floated on a stock market.


- It’s potentially the most lucrative exit strategy, provided your company is growing and thriving


- Legal and administrative fees can be hefty
- As with acquisition, a failing business is of little value

Overall, it pays to think about an exit as early as possible, and weigh up the perks and potential problems of each option carefully. For a no obligation chat about various exit strategies, discuss your options with us.