5 Tips on Exit Strategies

Prepare your exit strategy.

1. Plan your exit when you start the business. Will you sell your company, pass it on to children, or take it public?

2. Take time to understand how your chosen exit affects business planning. Will family members need to be trained to replace you, for example?

3. Consider the cost of each strategy—loss of the ability to keep financial information private if you sell or go public, for example.

4. Be aware that your investors will have their own exit strategies. Be prepared to discuss their desired timetable for exiting your business, how they see it happening and their expected return on investment.

5. Plan well ahead for a satisfying life when you leave your current business. Consider starting another business, teaching, volunteering—or becoming a philanthropist.