Exits are usually illuminated and clearly marked. The doors often open outwards to make egress even more straightforward. If only exiting a business was as easy as leaving a building.
In reality, growing a business to create a valuable well-oiled machine that appeals to an acquirer or indeed the stock market is hard work.
Not only does the enterprise need to be delivering products and services, satisfying customers, and generating revenue, it also needs to have an enthusiastic workforce, excellent further growth prospects, and systems in place to facilitate the next stage of development.
Unfortunately the operation cannot be put on hold whilst a suitor is sourced and their due diligence satisfied. Rather, it must be business-as-usual dealing with existing customers, winning new ones, and fighting fires in the sidelines. This process can be very demanding on the management team, as putting together the deal needs plenty of additional bandwidth to compile information, answer questions, draft agreements and negotiate hard.
One solution is to prepare for an exit right from the outset. As the business expands and new employees join, systems can be put in place that help facilitate the growth and make both third party investment and acquisition easier. From how the business is regularly reported, how the server is setup, how the finances are monitored, to how the departments function, there are ways to organise and systemise the business that will pay dividends in the future.
Get it all right from the start, and the exit may be a mere formality; push to exit, rather than punch, kick and scream to exit.
Start to Exit is now available.