An exit strategy is often an overlooked element of business management. Some entrepreneurs think they don’t need it, while others think it’s too early to develop one. The problem is not having one may give you, your partners, investors and successors limited options in the future.
Don’t wait until time has run out before you start thinking of an exit strategy. AOG Wealth Management, a trusted financial advisor in Northern Virginia, shares a list of exit strategies to consider for your business.
1. Create a Lifestyle Business
Many people think planning an exit strategy must be delayed years or months after establishing a business. Keep in mind that the decisions you make from day one will affect the future of your business. This includes determining the type of business you should build.
A lifestyle business aims to support your income and way of life. Creating a lifestyle business is a good exit strategy as it allows you to work shorter hours while earning the income you need. You can live on the income comfortably and save for the time when you’re ready to sell the company.
With this type of exit strategy, it’s best to minimize investors to keep things controlled without pressure from a large group people.
2. Sell the Business to a Trusted Buyer
Selling your business is one of the simplest exit strategies. Inform your friends and family of your plans. Let them know your business is for sale. A friendly buyout is a win-win situation as you’ll hopefully be leaving your venture in good hands.
A seasoned and smart entrepreneur knows when to call it quits. If you’re going to liquidate, be sure to repay creditors and divide the remaining assets among your investors or partners.
4. Consider Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
If you think another enterprise could improve your business after you’ve left, think about an M&A. A merger is a perfect solution when two companies have complementary skills and can combine resources to offer better (or new) products or services. If you want to negotiate the price of your business, look for an acquirer who will appreciate its worth.
5. Start an ESOP
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is similar to a profit-sharing plan. It gives you an avenue to sell your shares. In a nutshell, you’re allowing a broad base of current employees to control your business by giving them ownership of the company. Other businesses also use ESOPs to reward and motivate employees.
6. Go Public through an IPO
For many entrepreneurs, having an initial public offering is a tough process, but often a worthwhile one. You will need the expertise of an accountant and possibly a financial planner in Northern Virginia to set up an initial public offering (IPO) for your company.
There are many different exit strategies you can use for your business, and the decision isn’t always clear. Let AOG Wealth Management help you determine the plan that fits your business best. Contact us for more information about your options related to exit strategies.