Guest Column | August 20, 2015

What To Consider When Planning Your Business Exit Strategy (Part II)

By Arlin Sorensen, O and Founder of the Heartland Companies which includes HTG Peer Groups

In the first post of this series, I talked about the financial preparation required to maximize your outcome when you exit your business. Of course, that assumes you will sell or value the company at exit. 

There are certainly scenarios where that may not be part of the exit at all. For example, if you are passing it on to kids or employees, the valuation may not really be a significant consideration. There are many different ways owners exit their businesses. My last post addressed one of those scenarios: preparing your company financially for sale.

But this next area of consideration will happen no matter what your exit strategy turns out to be.  Whether selling or planning for the succession of your company to family or trusted employees, every owner will experience many emotions upon exit. 

After all, you’ve poured your life and energy into the business for years if not decades. It’s like your baby, and you’ve probably spent more time with it than any children you may have been blessed with. So you have to prepare emotionally for the transition. If you don’t several issues could arise.

The first thing I suggest is to do all you can to take the emotion out of the process. This means thinking ahead and writing down some key guidelines. I call these the “non-negotiables” of the exit. What are the things that have to occur for you to be satisfied with an exit? 

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