Let’s start with a quick benchmark.
Answer this question, marking yourself out of 10, where 10 is a perfect, gold-medal score.
How confident are you that your business strategy will deliver you and your family the exit you desire in timeframe you want?
If you are at 8/10 or higher based on your gut, how about doing a quick double check with our free Exit Readiness Survey…
It only takes 5 minutes.
If your gut says less than 8/10, then it all begins with YOU.
It’s all about YOU
Amazingly, when I work with Entrepreneurs many of them cannot answer exit related questions specifically. This is counterintuitive because if you don’t know exactly what you want your business exit to provide, it’s really tough to make good decisions about your business strategy on the way through…
These are the kind of questions Entrepreneurs need to answer.
By the way, there should be no hesitation or vagueness when answering these questions. If there is – it just takes a bit of work and it doesn’t take that long once you set aside the head space to do it.
Your exit profile – answer these questions
- When do you want to exit the business (having no involvement in the day-to-day running of the business)?
- How much do you want to receive on exit from the business to have the financial freedom you require for you and your family?
- How much does this mean you need to sell the business for, if you are not the only shareholder? OR
- How much does the business need to earn in post-tax profits to provide you with the dividend income stream you require, if you are not the only shareholder?
- Where do you want to live once you are no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the business (if it’s offshore think of a specific town and why that would be perfect base)?
- What do you imagine you will be doing day-to-day for the 12 months following your exit?
- What are the top five items on your bucket list and in what timeframe do you want to “knock them off?”
- When – if at all – do you want to engage in your next venture? What will that look like? How involved will you be? How much of your time will be required? Where will it be based?
The implications of answering these questions on your business strategy will be significant.
Have a rapid read of the case study below to see just one example of how exit fundamentally changed the approach to offshore expansion and its relative importance to the Entrepreneur’s desired exit outcomes.
Quick case study
How exit impacted on the decision to expand offshore or not …
TB is a niche B2B technology business, which is experiencing extraordinary growth year-on-year in its national market. In fact, the national market is exceeding the Entrepreneur’s expectations because of the strategies put in place to make TB’s challenger brand status an unstoppable force in a highly competitive market.
Having presented at an offshore conference, the Entrepreneur was approached about several opportunities outside TB’s national borders. Bear in mind that TB has been designed for exit from Day 1, so we know that the outcomes required at exit do not necessitate the business having regional or global reach.
In fact, without expanding offshore TB is on track to exceed the Entrepreneur’s exit expectations. As a result, the offshore opportunities took on a different significance because the priority is to maintain and grow the national offering. With a strong focus on protecting and growing the core national business, the offshore models being considered include prioritising partnering and automation. The goal is to minimise distraction, while ensuring TB can afford to lose without disrupting the Entrepreneur’s exit plans. In other words, the mantra here is “don’t mess with the cash cow.”
So now you’ve done the work and answered the questions above.
It’s time to rate yourself again out of 10.
If you’re still less than 8/10 then I recommend you talk to someone independent, to help you clarify exactly what you want out of this business.
Now we’ve focused on YOU, it’s time to review just how ready your business is to deliver the exit you require.
Check out my blog, “Entrepreneurs – will your business strategy deliver the exit you desire? Part 2”