An exit strategy could be the solution
Running your successful business probably feels like second nature to you. Nowadays, you may find that all your hard work and sacrifices have paid off and you’re in a great position financially. So you may well have a voice in your head saying that it’s time to try something else. Something different. Something new. But you’re not sure how to make it happen. Let alone where to start. Is it possible or is it just a pipe dream? More importantly, can your business really run without you?
Now might be the time to consider planning your exit strategy.
We find that a top intention for owners running their own business, is to create an income that allows them to go and do something that they really want to do. For example, they may want to reduce the number of days they work. Or be in a position that they don’t need to work anymore, so they can enjoy more downtime or family time. Another option is that they may want to give back and have more time to help their local community or charity. They may event want to sell their existing business or have the freedom to set up a new business. Really, the sky’s the limit.
A clear exit plan
Whether you’re at this stage or not, in our minds, every business owner should consider an exit strategy as part of their strategic planning. Thinking about what you need to do and implementing a plan, sooner rather than later, will help you to step away from your business safely. When chatting with business owners on this very topic, many ask us the same question: “how do you do it?”
Ultimately, we do this by identifying a clear exit strategy and our first port of call is to ask the business owner some key questions:
- What is your vision?
- What are your goals?
- Including an indication of timescales – is it 3, 5, 10 years or longer?
- How will we know when the business has achieved success?
- What are the measures to enable us to track performance?
- How much is this going to cost you and your business?
- What do we need to set aside in the budget?
Obtaining clarity at the outset is fundamental for a strategic exit plan. Along with a clear-cut focus, which is seamlessly aligned to achieving the owner’s vision.
Systems and processes are the starting point
The best starting point is to review the systems and process you currently have in place. Then look at any areas for improvement that will save time and money, as well as increase productivity and efficiency.
Also, don’t worry if you don’t have your system or processes written down, as this isn’t unusual. If you read my Blog – ‘My business process is in my head’ – you will know that you are not alone!
With a structured approach, we can map out the processes as well as identifying the best system options for you. Our Virtual Operations Managers have the skills and expertise to help and support you. With fresh eyes, they bring an impartial perspective. They also ensure that whatever activity is agreed, it is rolled out in a phased approach over time. In our experience, it’s no good trying to overload you with everything too quickly, as it just won’t stick! We also find that going at your pace and implementing change over a sustainable period of time, delivers an easy-to-use comprehensive solution.
Furthermore, in our experience many businesses want to use a bespoke system to begin with, however this can be very costly and not time efficient. In contrast, what we deliver is a cost and time-effective system that will give you 90% of your requirements. Thus, enabling an easier transition to get used to the system in the first place. Then at a later stage, the system can be assessed and upon review, the next steps can be agreed.
Revisit your vision
An important point to consider next is to revisit your vision. Thus, making sure that all of your systems and processes have the ability to grow with you and your vision. There is no point in implementing anything that isn’t fit-for-purpose.
Who can do the work and run your business?
Once the systems and processes have been implemented, it’s time to look at your resource requirements. Who will fulfill the role when you are not around?
Some businesses may well have a resource plan in place. So, it may just be a case of reviewing what tasks people currently perform and identify any resource gaps. On the other hand, the main priority could be to recruit or train someone to run the business for you.
In either case, new job roles may be required. This would then instigate creating job descriptions and recruiting people with the right skill set to either carry out the work or to run the business in your absence.
We recognise that not all businesses are the same, which is why we provide the expertise to help you to consider all aspects of onboard recruitment. It’s also important to us that you trust us and feel supported, when looking for people to work on and in your business.
Emergency exit planning
The benefit of completing and applying a robust exit strategy is to enable you to step away from your business safely and do something else.
Though, another important point to consider is how your business can thrive without you. You are human and you may become unwell or a family member may need your support, either short-term or long-term. So with this in mind, factoring in an emergency exit strategy is not only extremely proactive, it could also be the difference in protecting the longevity of your scalable business.
Equally, having a plan to mitigate risks to safeguard your business is an absolute must.
Safely invest in your life and your business
For businesses that are successful and owners who wish to invest, an exit strategy is a sound investment to achieve the ‘wants’ for your personal life and your business. Our services offer a low risk, high value return.
To summarise, whether you retain or sell your business, you will be adding value by implementing infrastructure into your business. As a result, you will either be compensated with time, or money, or both. In short, it’s is a win-win situation.
Begin your exit strategy
If you would like to find out more about creating your exit strategy, we would love to hear from you.