What is an exit strategy in business?


After a seven-year journey via house, Cassini went into orbit round Saturn and stayed there for 13 years. It explored Saturn’s rings and environment, and the knowledge it despatched to NASA broadened our understanding of what sort of life would possibly exist on worlds past Earth. A 20-year job is no joke, particularly in at this time’s financial system.

After 20 years of service, Cassini didn’t come again to Earth for retirement. No one ever questioned “What is an exit strategy for this mission?” It had one job, and it ended its service being crushed and vaporized because it crashed into Saturn on September 15, 2017. This is how Cassini exhibits the true distinction between having a job and having a enterprise. You can’t go away a job behind, however you can go away a enterprise – if in case you have an exit strategy.

Will you leverage your enterprise into future success? Or will you crash and burn like Cassini? Watch the video from Tony Robbins under on inform the distinction between a job and a enterprise, and what life with out an exit strategy appears to be like like.

What is an exit strategy?

Exit strategy; noun: a pre-planned technique of extricating oneself from a scenario that has grow to be troublesome or disagreeable in a approach that limits general losses.

A enterprise exit strategy doesn’t must be disagreeable, although. It can merely imply you may have completed all you’ve set to do along with your firm and are prepared to maneuver on to the subsequent part of your life. Your objective might be that your enterprise achieves a certain quantity of progress. Another frequent objective is that your enterprise turns into each sufficiently established and marketable as a way to promote it. Regardless, your enterprise has reached some extent that it is applicable so that you can transfer away from it, and it is now time to behave in your exit strategy. Your exit strategy marketing strategy wants to profit you financially and emotionally and match in with your required legacy.

Why do I want a enterprise exit strategy?

Think about why you began your organization in the primary place. Was it so you may sit behind a desk all day issuing orders and signing contracts? Probably not. You seemingly envisioned how having monetary freedom may make your life higher. If you didn’t have to fret about cash, you may journey extra. You may spend extra time with your loved ones. You may pursue the pursuits that fulfill your soul, maybe by giving again or studying new expertise.

Your enterprise exit strategy permits you to start to take a step again out of your day-to-day operations. It permits you to begin making a cash machine that may maintain you with out you setting foot in the workplace. And finally, it permits you to promote your enterprise or cross on one thing worthwhile to the subsequent era.

No one desires to buy a small, unprofitable enterprise, nor do they wish to cross any such enterprise on. Your potential purchaser desires to see a thriving firm, one which has returned your funding and continues to increase. If you wish to finally promote your enterprise and use the cash to fulfill your desires, you have to create one thing you may promote. That means understanding from the beginning that you simply wish to promote it and understanding what a possible purchaser would want. If you don’t plan on promoting it, as a substitute leaving it to your youngsters or passing it on in another approach, you want a enterprise exit strategy that plans for this.

Creating an exit strategy may also show you how to develop your enterprise quicker and be extra profitable. If you’re ultra-focused on promoting your organization, then you’ll set objectives and make decisions that can result in the progress of your enterprise, moderately than stagnation.

Who wants an exit strategy?

In brief, everybody.

But in the event you don’t have an exit strategy simply but, you’re not alone. Many enterprise house owners construct their firms from the bottom up – after which cease. They got down to create a product or supply a service to make their enterprise talkably completely different, however don’t assume forward any additional than that. Why would they? Running a enterprise is tiring work. For many enterprise house owners, the considered leaving their enterprise is unsettling. Because of this resistance, some enterprise house owners could by no means have contemplated, “What is an exit strategy?” and “Should I’ve an exit strategy marketing strategy?” Business house owners equivalent to these are seemingly pushed by worry: worry of letting go, worry of failing at a brand new enterprise enterprise, worry of retirement – the potential record goes on and on. 

what is an exit strategy in business

For many enterprise house owners, the considered leaving their enterprise is unsettling. Because of this resistance, some could by no means have contemplated, “What is an exit strategy?” and “Do I want a enterprise exit strategy?” Business house owners equivalent to these are seemingly pushed by worry: worry of letting go, worry of failing at a brand new enterprise enterprise, worry of retirement – the record goes on. 

Just as worry may be detrimental in different life conditions, the identical is true in this example. Like Cassini, these enterprise house owners preserve going and going, solely to search out that after they wish to flip round and return to Earth – or recoup their funding and put it towards what they wish to do – they don’t have any capability to take action. Their enterprise would possibly present them revenue, however they’ll hardly stroll away from it. 

Sounds like a job, doesn’t it? If you wish to be a real enterprise proprietor, not simply an operator, you want an exit strategy.

Types of exit methods

There are two most important kinds of exit methods: a enterprise exit strategy, for house owners who wish to transfer on or retire, and an worker exit strategy, for when workers go away the corporate. Both have an influence on how your enterprise is perceived and finally how worthwhile it would grow to be.

Business exit strategy

What is an exit strategy in enterprise? It’s your strategy for transitioning your enterprise to its subsequent stage of possession. At first, it could sound counterintuitive, particularly in case you are nonetheless initially levels of the enterprise. You’re pouring all you may have into this new enterprise; planning to exit it – seemingly abandoning it – looks as if a horrible mindset for a brand new enterprise proprietor to take.

On the opposite: While a enterprise exit strategy isn’t like mapping out a plan to your firm, it’s a vital element to your success. Most enterprise house owners have methods to scale, to enhance market share and to grow to be worthwhile, however wouldn’t have a strategy to make their exit.

Employee exit strategy

Just as you want a enterprise exit strategy while you’re prepared to maneuver on, you additionally want an worker exit strategy to take care of group members who resign out of your firm. Whether they go away as a result of they’re sad at work or to tackle a brand new place that gives them the success they want, dealing with their exit sends an vital message to your group and will help you keep and even strengthen the loyalty of your different workers.

The key to a profitable worker exit strategy is to stay calm {and professional}, to make sure data will get transferred from the worker who is leaving to whomever will take their position. An exit interview with the worker leaving, in addition to interviews with these remaining in their division who are immediately affected by the individual’s departure, are wonderful worker exit strategy instruments. When you ask the precise questions of each your exiting worker and people they labored with, you need to use the departure as a technique to enhance your organizational tradition.

creating an exit strategy

Key components of a enterprise exit strategy

Your exit strategy is quite a lot of ideas you had one night time or a fast dialogue along with your enterprise associate. It’s a written plan of motion that accounts for the next:

  • The date you intend to enact the exit strategy
  • The enterprise valuation you’ll attain earlier than exiting
  • SMART objectives and an actionable plan for reaching that valuation
  • All viable choices for exiting the enterprise (such because the 4 examples under)
  • Potential patrons for your enterprise

If you’re creating an exit strategy years in advance, know that issues could change. Business triggers like adjustments in the financial system and in your life will occur. Your exit strategy can really show you how to keep on monitor by offering a transparent path to observe – and you may at all times replace it.

Examples of enterprise exit methods

To absolutely reply the query, “What is an exit strategy?” check out these 4 frequent plans and the professionals and cons of every.

Exit strategy #1: Lifestyle firm strategy

The way of life firm strategy entails taking the most important wage you may, rewarding your self with bonuses and issuing particular shares that produce very excessive dividends. The reasoning behind this enterprise exit strategy is to take no matter you may from the enterprise whereas it’s thriving and leaving nothing to promote when you’re able to exit.


You can dwell a reasonably good way of life and also you don’t have to fret about placing a whole lot of thought into creating a large motion plan for progress.


You could also be taxed for cash you pull out and also you’ll don’t have any massive pay-out while you’re prepared to depart the enterprise. You’ll even be leaving your group excessive and dry as your enterprise will shut while you go away.

Exit strategy #2: Liquidation

If you’re able to name it quits and don’t owe cash, you may merely shut your doorways and be accomplished with the enterprise. Liquidation is usually what occurs when a enterprise fails to anticipate issues, doesn’t have an exit strategy marketing strategy or when issues don’t go as deliberate, however it may be one thing you select.


It’s straightforward and there is no have to switch something to new house owners.


Your enterprise finally ends up having no worth in the top and your popularity and enterprise relationships may endure. Just as with a way of life exit strategy, your workers will probably be out of a job with this strategy.

Exit strategy #3: Selling to a pleasant purchaser

If you’ve created a enterprise primarily based on that means and goal, it’s seemingly that others imagine in what you’re doing. When you’re able to put an exit strategy in place, these like-minded people might be prepared to purchase it from you and proceed your imaginative and prescient. Often, these patrons are workers, members of the family or colleagues. You can finance the sale over time to offer them the chance to pay a good market worth whereas supplying you with the liberty to depart the enterprise as they repay the mortgage.


You already know the patrons and subsequently much less background checking is wanted. You can also see your enterprise proceed to satisfy your imaginative and prescient.


You could find yourself promoting it for lower than it’s value since you wish to assist out a buddy or member of the family. You may additionally do main harm to your loved ones or friendship if issues happen with the enterprise and the client blames you.

Exit strategy #4: Acquisition

Acquisition is the commonest type of exit strategy and entails discovering one other firm to purchase yours. If you search out a strategic match and are in a position to persuade them of your worth, you may make a tidy revenue off your enterprise.


You may get far more than what your organization is really value, and also you don’t have to fret about sustaining private relationships with those that purchase the enterprise. Because this is the commonest enterprise exit strategy, you could find a variety of professionals that will help you full the method.


Acquisitions and the next transitions may be messy and uncomfortable and you could have to observe your valued workers being laid off. They may also include non-competes or different stipulations that might make it troublesome so that you can begin one other firm.

What are my subsequent steps?

Now that you simply’ve reviewed the completely different enterprise exit methods, it’s time to be clear with your self. Take the recommendation of enterprise guru and advertising and marketing mogul Jay Abraham. The very first thing you might want to do is evaluate your objectives and priorities. Your objectives to your enterprise exit strategy could also be completely different relying in your stage of life. Whatever your priorities could also be, be certain that your exit strategy is main you towards the life you need.

Another bit of recommendation from Jay Abraham: Don’t worth your enterprise your self. Instead, rent knowledgeable to guage your enterprise and all its property to get a transparent image of its value. This course of can even show you how to perceive which elements of your enterprise are ripe for enchancment. If you’re lucky, you would possibly be capable to make just a few minor changes primarily based on the analysis so as to add actual worth to your enterprise earlier than you’re taking the subsequent step in your exit strategy.

If your enterprise is not as invaluable as you assume it might be, it could be smart to put aside six months or a yr for potential adjustment. Using Jay Abraham’s inside exponential progress elements, you may probably add actual worth to your enterprise in a short while.

Now that you simply’ve obtained a transparent sense of worth, resolve which of the exit methods above most closely fits your wants. Remember, as you proceed with any deal, train full disclosure to potential patrons. If you withhold info, it’s doable your complete deal could fall via.

When you reply “What is an exit strategy in enterprise?” and “Which exit methods are the very best match for me?” you may be proactive in shifting towards one other stage of progress as you construct your enterprise.


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