Every business owner will, at some point, exit their business in some way. Most, however, do not think about how they will exit until they are almost ready to do so. I have found that most business owners are so engrossed in running their business that they don’t think about selling until six months before they want to exit. Unfortunately, this is a poor strategy. Effective exit planning takes time.
A survey was conducted by the Exit Planning Institute in partnership with Grant Thornton, PNC and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University. This “State of Owner Readiness Survey” found that 75% of owners who sold their businesses had “seller’s remorse” because they felt as though they did not receive a fair monetary value and were not prepared for the emotional impact of selling their business. Seller’s remorse can be rectified by beginning to plan for the exit transition three to five years before an owner wants to exit.