At what point should I start thinking through an exit strategy?
I'm thinking through the business plan for my next venture and I'm not sure what the ideal exit strategy should be. Should I work with a consultant and decide ASAP or can I afford to wait and see how the business pans out first?
I'd recommend thinking through your exit strategy and documenting it in your business plan. While you don't have to exercise it, you will have a clear understanding of what you are working towards and a better handle on when you arrive at that point in time, whether to exit or continue on with the business.
Hi Rob, I agree with most of the advice here that you should have an exit strategy in mind before you even start your new venture. Always be thinking forward, how is your next venture going to move you forward or where will it lead you next.
As soon as you want to ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Ideally it's part of your business plan and end game big picture. That way you know what your business needs to be when it's time.
Working back from the end shows you whether you are on track and your marketing and business development and sales and partnerships and profits are going to get the company where it needs to go.
Your exist strategy also needs to align with your personal goals, too. So you need to reflect on that a bit and not just be driven by the business aspect.
Also remember that anything you decide on now can change in the future. Strategies can change. Markets can change. Economies can change. Priorities can change.
You know all that already, but keep that in mind any time you start thinking things are looking really solid. Plan for the future and expect some unexpected issues now and then so needing to change unexpectedly doesn't crush any hopes and dreams.
As you've seen in the many responses you've received, it's vital to get your exit strategy planned right away. Here is a resource on Exit Strategy: http://www.marketingholt.com/what-is-an-exit-strategy/
It not only covers what an exit strategy is but is also a comprehensive list of what you need to do, what to look out for, and why having a turnkey business can increase your business valuation at time of exit. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Hey Rob , This post is now 7 months old and Just curious to know .. Did you build the exit strategy?
As a serial entrepreneur; when you begin thinking about a new adventure in business whatever it is, the first thing you better think about is your exit strategy. So here's how you think, "...I am thinking about starting a new business; if I do this, how the heck am I going to get out of it when I need to?". That is when you think about an exit strategy.
I would consider your exit strategy as part of your business planning. You need to determine how you are going to exit (sale, divestiture, etc) and them maximize your business steps to get you there while you still LOVE what you are doing.
From experience I'd advise that you begin to consider the exit strategy from the onset...There may not be an 'ideal' exit depending on the type of enterprise you are starting and the sector. Try using an outcome to purpose review to assess the best and worst case scenarios. This will enable talk yourself in or out of starting the business at all. Good Luck
If you are thinking of an exit strategy, then you have started thinking through an exit strategy. In any case, it is always better to have a plan before taking that exit leap. But then I am sure you already know this. So time to get off of the denial bus and face reality. Unless of course you plan to go down with the ship.....
Every business owner should always have an exit strategy; after all every employee and owner is only temporary. This means that we should wrap our heads around a succession plan while we continue to build value into the business for a potential sale at any time.
There should be at least some idea of an exit strategy as you develop the business. This can be modified as the business matures, but it shouldn't be ignored. I'm not sure that I would spend the time on a consultant until the business has a value other than your own blood sweat and tears - just my two cents.