Planning Your Exit in Three Stages


By Phil Harwood

Whether your exit involves selling your business or keeping it in the family, there are three stages to consider when planning your exit from your business. In this blog, I will outline these three stages and provide you with some free resources. 

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In addition to my work with Grow The Bench and the Snowfighters Institute, my consulting work focuses on business growth and succession planning under the banner of Tamarisk Business Advisors. 

To help business owners prepare for their exit, we have created a succession planning roadmap, designed to help them get from where they are today to where they want to be in the future. This roadmap is best represented in three stages.
Stage 1
Stage 1 encompasses the current state of affairs. At this stage, we identify what’s already in place, what’s missing, what needs attention in the near-term, and what may be incorporated into a longer-term plan. If needed, execution may occur at this stage to put in place one or more important items.
Stage 2

Stage 2 encompasses the interim period of time between the current state of affairs and post-succession. This period of time may involve months or years, depending on the timing of your succession plan. Of course, we never know how much time we really have. Thus, we hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Stage 2 often provides an opportunity for a well-planned business leadership transition to occur and for other elements of your succession plan to be executed over time.  In most cases, a systematic hand-off of responsibilities over time is optimal because this allows for you to become more of a mentor and trainer as your exit approaches.   
Stage 3
Stage 3 is the period of time after you have passed the torch in your business and have moved into your post-succession life. Planning for this stage is just as important as the other stages to ensure that you are moving into a new chapter with purpose.
Passing the torch does not necessarily mean retirement in its traditional sense. Many business owners continue to remain involved in their businesses after stepping away from leadership or management roles, especially if they are financing the sale of the business.
As you contemplate these three stages, it’s important to have input from family members, business associates, and advisors. While this is your succession plan, many others are impacted by your decisions. You will be in a better position to protect your legacy when you have a full grasp of how your succession plan will affect those around you.
Gaining a solid understanding of what you want and obtaining input from others may take some time. We recommend that you don’t rush this. But we also recommend that you make it a priority so that your plan can be put in place sooner than later.

Now for those free resources. Click here to obtain your complimentary copy of the Succession Planning Roadmap. In addition, we are offering a 12-question online assessment called Personal Readiness to Exit Score (PREScore), available at 

PREScore uses an exclusive algorithm, developed by analyzing more than 40,000 business owners and conducting more than 200 in-depth interviews with owners who have recently sold to calculate an owner’s readiness based on four key drivers of a satisfying exit. Your customized free report provides insight into at-risk areas that are often overlooked and offers personalized recommendations for enhancing
your succession plan.

I strongly encourage you to take eight minutes to obtain your PREScore for several reasons. First, it is free. There is no obligation. Just take the assessment and your customized report will be emailed to you. If you’d like to discuss the report with me, I’m happy to take time to do so but it’s not required. 

Second, the report contains valuable information. The PRE-Score assessment helps you consider your level of preparedness so that you can exit with no regrets when you’re ready. 

Third, the report provides insight into unseen factors that you may have overlooked. If not addressed, these factors may lead to regret and disappointment. By becoming aware of these considerations now, you will have time to address them.

Finally, you will receive a bonus: a free e-book called The Exit Checklist. This book provides you with a five-step personal action plan to guide you along your journey of exiting your business.

Now go forth. 

Tags: Selling Business , Exit Plan , Consulting ,