When I ran an event planning company, we always started with what the event would look like in the end. Then we created our to do list based on the vision for the event.
Instead of jumping in to plan a wedding by calling all the vendors, we first envisioned what it would be like to ensure we called the right vendors.
Was it going to be an intimate affair at a private club, an outdoor wedding under a large tent or a midsized gathering at the local VFW?
Each of these are very different weddings and require different planning, decisions and different vendors.
You should treat your business the same way – with the end in mind.
Don’t start your business without an exit strategy. Why? Because you make different decisions for your business based on where you want it to end up. Deciding on a name may be different if you are planning to grow it for an IPO versus running it and then shutting it down in the end. Where you want to end can dictate everything from branding, hiring, financing, legal set-up and more.
Here are some of the options you may consider for your business exit strategy.
Keep it in the family – some people want to start and run a business that they can leave to their children.
Private Sale – you may decide you eventually want to sell the business privately. Within this category you have a few different targets for selling your business. You may sell to another company, another individual or to your employees.
IPO (Initial Public Offering) – you may decide that you want to go big and have an exit strategy of going public on the stock market.
Liquidation (Shut down) – while you might not think this sounds appealing, there are many businesses that will simply be done running when you are done working. These businesses are ones that simply cannot run without the owner. Such as coaches, consultants, freelance writers, independent hairstylists, and personal trainers. In the end you sell your assets and move on.
I know like this might seem like a hard thing to pick out right now, because you simply cannot imagine not working in your business. Yet there will come a day when you are ready to be done. Knowing your options now will help make that transition easier.
You don’t have to pick one and be stick with it, but at least pick one so that if you want the intimate wedding you don’t end up outside because you made the wrong planning decisions. Start by making the right moves today.
Financial Coach for Business Owners – Andrea Travillian