Posts tagged with: achieve your goals

Set Your Exit Strategy From the Beginning Part 2

Here are five more tips on goals to explore to be sure you achieve your ultimate goals when you exit your business.

Align Your Goals With Your Exit Strategy

Do you have goals now? Do you have:

  • Daily goals
  • Weekly goals
  • Monthly goals
  • Quarterly goals
  • Annual goals
  • 3 year goals
  • Exit goals

You need all of them if you want to achieve your exit goals. They must be aligned and integrated.

Here’s a secret no one talks about but they DO want you to know:

Consistency among all these goals is essential or

  • you will fail to exit
  • you will drastically reduce the value, AND
  • you will pay a premium for the service providers in the exit market.

And yet, all of this is 100% avoidable!

The answer is to not just set goals but to stay focused to achieve your goals.

Plan Ahead

You must know your exit date (or at least the criteria for it) and set it at least 2-3 years out – to have time to systematize, streamline and leverage your business to get the maximum valuation.

To get the results you want:

  • Your exit strategy must be part of your initial business plan
  • Your exit strategy must be part of your annual plans every year
  • Your exit strategy must be built into your 3 year goals from the outset

Identify Goals To Increase Value

What can you do to maximize the value in your business? To achieve your goal, you must:

  • Sell more
  • Increase prices
  • Reach new markets
  • Reduce costs
  • Hire/Train
  • Document your expertise

Is The Value Right Now In You Or Your Business?

Be honest, is the value of your business now in you or in the business? This is an uncomfortable wakeup call for most entrepreneurs. Are the expertise and the business strategy all in your head, and in your proprietary files? You have nothing to sell and you have no exit options if this is still true.

Instead, you can and should start to train others on different pieces, outsource different pieces, or start delegating more and more. The side benefit of delegating, outsourcing and automating is that you free up time to work on your most valuable activities including your exit strategy to achieve your goal.

“Business owners do not plan to fail. But 95% fail to plan. Don’t be one of them.” 

Integrate your exit strategy in every plan, every goal from the outset to ensure the value of the business is in the business.

 

Plan Your Business Exit BEFORE You Plan Your Market Entry

“Most traders never plan or even discuss their Forex exit strategy. “

In the world of Forex trading, that’s what Pete Visconti says. In his world, traders pay more attention to their entry, setting up a good trade and timing profits.  They forget or don’t look at the cost of not having a Forex exit strategy for each trade too.

As Visconti learned the hard way himself:

“Although, traders will argue which is more important,
you need to understand that they both are.
Just make sure they are planned and part of your trade plan.”

Analogous to his advice for traders to have a Forex Exit Strategy, here are my four points for Entrepreneurs/CEOs to plan your business exit strategy before you plan your market entry:

  1. Know What Your Business Exit Strategy Will Be BEFORE You Launch Your Business.

If you are in business and didn’t do this up front, you are already behind. It’s already harder for you to make good clear decisions about your business day to day, because you don’t know what your exit options are; what you are aiming for.

Therefore, if you don’t have an exit strategy in place, put exit planning on your critical exit strategy, path now to increase the value of your business at exit – whenever that may be.

  1. Consider Multiple Exit Strategies

When you lock down your exit strategy too soon, you eliminate the possibility of alternative opportunities providing even better solutions. When you maximize the number and variety of options on the table; you have more choices, more opportunities, and can make better decisions along the way

The sooner you start exploring alternatives open to you, the more control and more choices you can position you and your business to benefit from. The longer you wait and the smaller your exit window, the fewer options you can consider and reducing the value you can realize at closing.

  1. Always Initiate a ‘Stop Loss’ as Part of Your Exit Strategy

In the context of your business exit strategy, a ‘Stop-Loss’ is a contingency plan if things go awry and you must get out fast.

You have an emergency exit from the building. You have a backup of your hard drive offsite. You also need a plan for other crisis scenarios.

It could be an insurance policy, a backup successor, a backup exit plan that is not ideal, but fulfills many of your criteria and can be invoked quickly. It’s like having a co-signer on a key bank account or having a second key holder for your lockbox.

  1. Stick to Your Business Exit Strategy just as Conscientiously as Your Business Strategy

One of the biggest obstacles business owners face is getting distracted by the ‘new shiny object’. They get restless or bored working the sound strategy they are implementing and decide to shake things up without any stopgaps to protect them or the business. That lack of discipline can cost you your retirement and the business in the end. Revise it strategically if necessary. It’s in your best interest to trust your exit strategy and follow it with discipline.

Most entrepreneurs will skip these elements of laying out their business. Most CEOs will trivialize the importance of their exit plan in building the success of the business.

The flaw in that thinking is that business is all about making a profit.

Planning your business exit strategy from the outset is an imperative to achieve your goals for the business. Consequently, your daily decisions all lead to how much profit you achieve and what you want to do with the resulting profits.

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