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It may not be top of your list, or even on your mind, but if you’re running a small business it’s worth thinking about an exit strategy. Whether the desire to sell comes around quicker than expected or you want to take a step back from the business,  here are some things to do now that will make that transition a lot smoother.

Create and document systems

Create a system for everything that happens inside the business, from operations to administration, and record how they work. This will take thought and time but the payback is worth it.

Your goal is to produce a procedure manual so that systems are kept even as staff change. It’s the sort of thing that will help you now, and t it will also make it much easier to sell your small business or take a step back.

Workflow management

You want to make it easy for someone else to step into your shoes and manage the business so create tools to help them. These might include things like workflow management reports that show how the business ticks over. Those sorts of reports will say when jobs come in, how they progress through the business, and who is doing what work.

Whether you’re in manufacturing or client services, you need to map out your process and track jobs as they move through. It’ll make it easier for you to keep on top of the business now, and it will impress potential buyers when you’re selling a small business.

If it’s better for a buyer, it’s better for you

Start bringing more structure and systems into your business as soon as you can. It will take you time to implement them and you don’t want to be trying to manage that change when you’re selling a small business.  If you’re in control of your business, potential buyers will know they can control it too.

Keep you finances up to date

If you’re on top of your figures then this will not only send a positive message to potential buyer, but will mean you can produce any necessary documents and figures at the press of a button. You’ll also have a much better idea of whether or not you can afford to take a step back and if the time for selling is right.

Exit happens

Exiting your business is inevitable. Don’t leave those conversations too late because it takes time to make a plan and execute. Getting a business ready for sale is a process.

How to make a small business exit strategy

Start by asking what you want your exit to look like. Ask yourself the following:

  • – When do you think it will be?
  • – What does the business look like at the time of exit?
  • – Will you sell, merge or walk away from the business?
  • – How much would I like for my business?


For help with creating and managing an exit strategy talk to one of our team today on 01326 660022