At what stage do I employ an exit strategy?

At what point do I employ an exit strategy?


The short answer is: The day you start or purchase (or commence) the business!


If you start with an understanding of the principle of “seeing the business as separate from yourself”, it makes the process so much easier. If this business is a means to an end (rather than an end in itself), the first step is to determine what that end entails.

One way to engage in this process is to set a time at the end of each day to review the events of the day. In doing this, you need to be totally objective about the overall performance of the business. In reality, the owner is an employee of the business, carrying out certain functions (albeit vital functions) and they should see themselves in this role.

The next step is to consider the options, when your current business is no longer a part of your life - what will I do?

                Buy another business in another field?

                Buy a lifestyle property and work it for my own enjoyment?

                Move to the coast?

                Go farming?


Once this is determined, then you are in a position to see your current business for what it really is: a means to an end.

So, if it is to be a saleable asset, it cannot, by definition, be reliant upon you – or any other individual, for that matter. It must be a stand-alone entity that operates successfully and profitably employing set processes that can be replicated by a new owner. The next person will need to feel comfortable that, as long as they follow the guidelines that you have established, they will achieve the same level of profitability. After all, that’s what they paid you for!

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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