Think about what you might want from a new car. Do you want nothing but great fuel economy? Or do you want the whole package – something that delivers good fuel performance, has a strong safety record, is reliable, is fun to drive, and looks nice enough to make the neighbours jealous? You want the whole package, of course.
The same is true of buying a business. There are many factors that will make your business attractive to buyers – and it’s not all about profit. In other words, you want to create that great all-round package. Thoughtful exit planning means getting your business in great shape now, rather than waiting until you’re ready to sell (or even leaving it to a future buyer to do the work). That way, it’s you that reaps the benefits, not your buyer – you get a better business now, and a better valuation in the future.
Key questions for your exit plan
Is your business delivering the full package already or is there room for improvement? To find out, ask yourself these 10 critical exit planning questions:
1. Can the business function independently of the owner(s)?
2. Do we have a great management team?
3. Do we have relevant and accurate management reporting in place?
4. Does our income come from contracted or recurring revenues?
5. Do we have tied-in suppliers?
6. Do we have a diverse range of clients?
7. Are there new products or services in the pipeline?
8. Is our employment record squeaky clean?
9. Do we have a strong brand and reputation?
10. Have we protected key assets like our intellectual property?
Exit planning to build a better business
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then this indicates important areas for improvement and priorities for your exit plan. After all, exit planning is about developing your business to make it as attractive to buyers as possible.
The beauty of this exit planning work is, by developing your business to make it more attractive, you’re creating a company that’s more efficient, profitable and easier to run. In this way, a good exit plan delivers rewards now, as well as when you sell.
So, how did you do answering the exit plan questions above? Are you delivering the full package, or is your business like an E-Type Jaguar in some areas, and a Morris Minor in others? If you’ve identified areas for improvement, download our new exit planning white paper, Cash today, wealth tomorrow, for practical ways to boost the value and attractiveness of your business.
Alternatively, talk to Henchards about your exit plan. We’ll work with you to create a business that’s a great all-round package – one that rewards you now and in the future.