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Putting together an exit plan is about having plans that are flexible and fit your needs.  In fact, most of the time we believe that business exit planning and scenario plans go hand in hand.

Scenario planning is simply looking at different things that can happen and then designing a response to those different things.  Some of the scenarios you might consider could be considered bad and some could be considered good things.  The important thing is to put together check lists that you can follow that will help you get a more positive outcome from any planning that you might do.

I believe that it's important for you to understand what the gaps are in your thoughts and plans.  After you make a list of the gaps that exist, it's important that you grade these on a scale of one to ten for importance.

The gaps that are really important are the ones you're going to want to tackle first.  These are the gaps that if they come true could cause difficulties when it comes time to execute your exit plan.

Some of the issues that you might want to consider are:

  • Do you have adequate management in place?  Remember, a buyer or the next generation is not going to need you, but they will need your management.
  • Has your business been systemized?  You might have lots of systems in your head, but others also need to know what you’ve been thinking.
  • If you have adequate management, have you done anything to insure they stay after you leave your business?
  • Have you figured out what you want to do after you leave your business?
  • Do you know where you are on the road to financial independence?  Are you going to be able to afford to leave your business?

Issues like those listed above are ones that are important to consider and rate for completeness.  Remember, business exit planning is often around preparation.  The more complete your preparation is, the better your chances of you getting to leave your business in the manner you want.

As always, I’m interested in hearing what your ideas are.  Comments are always welcome.

Josh Patrick

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Topics: enterprise value, business exit planning, value, succession planning, scenario planning

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