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The exit plan is progressing.  We have identified the goals under Step 1, determined the financial needs upon exit under Step 2, assessed the current value of the business under Step 3 and selected the relevant exit option(s) under Step 4.

There are various exit options available to business owners.  The key to Step 4 of the exit planning process is to identify which exit option will best accomplish the goals defined under Step 1.  The exit options generally fall under two categories: internal transfers and external transfers.

In order to increase the value of a business the key value drivers must be identified.  Determining the key value drivers requires an assessment of each value driver’s relevance and impact in affecting value.


Enhancing the value of a business is a process that takes time, which is why it is vital for business owners to begin this exercise at least 3 to 5 years prior to an exit or sale of the business.

The value enhancement process cons...

The exit plan is now beginning to take shape.  The goals have been identified, including the anticipated timing of exit and the preference for either an internal transfer or an external sale to a third party.  The financial needs have been quantified, including how much is required from the sale of the business to achieve the financial goals.

Once the personal, financial and business exit planning goals have been clearly identified, the next step involves determining the business owner’s financial needs upon exit.  In other words, what lump-sum amount is required upon exiting the business (including from the sale of the business) to enable the business owner to achieve the goals defined under Step 1?
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An exit plan begins with a concise statement of the business owner’s personal, financial and business goals.  These provide the framework against which all exit planning decisions are made.

Each business is unique and each busin...

According to Gary Ford and Connie Bird, authors of "Life is Sales", three common attributes of successful people are initiative, persistence and assertiveness.  It is these qualities that drive entrepreneurs to build successful organizations and it is these qualities that empower business owners to prepare for a voluntary or involuntary sale of their businesses through an exit plan.

All privately held business owners will one day exit their business.  The exit will be voluntary (at a time of the business owner’s choosing) or it will be involuntary (due to burnout, illness, disability, marital problems or death).  An exit strategy is needed to ensure a voluntary exit.  A contingency plan is needed to be prepared for an involuntary exit.  Either way - a plan is needed...