Preparing Your Business to Exit: A ValueBytes Series

Preparing Your Business to Exit A ValueBytes Series

Starting a business is one of the most difficult ventures anyone can dive into, but even more difficult is figuring out what to do with the business once it’s off the ground.

It’s easy to let your business just turn into a paycheck, something that takes the place of a traditional job. But owning a business is anything but a job. You don’t have any of the same benefits and safety nets that employees get, which means you have to think about your business differently—you need to think of it like an asset.

Assets aren’t paychecks. They have to be managed, and they are often just a means to an end, whether that be leaving behind a legacy, funding a retirement, ensuring your family has a place to work and build their own legacies, and more.

In this ValueBytes series, we spoke with 5 exit-planning experts about the different aspects of owning a business that modern business owners need to consider. Here’s what they each had to say.

Aligning Values and Business Strategy with Pete Palermo

In our talk with Pete Palermo of Wolf’s Edge Integrators, we talked about how important it is for family-owned businesses to make sure their values are tied to everything they do.

Pete highlighted the importance of aligning a family’s vision and values with their business operations. This alignment serves as a compass, guiding both day-to-day activities and long-term strategic decisions. 

He emphasized the difficulty of balancing tradition with innovation but said that ensuring your business stays true to its roots is critical to long-term success—as long as you are also able to adapt to the changing demands of your market.

This balance is crucial for maintaining a strong external reputation while still fostering internal growth.

See our entire talk with Pete here.

The Importance of Having an Endgame with Ken Lee

We spoke with Ken Lee of Klutch Advisors about the necessity of early planning and having a clear endgame in mind. According to Ken, for many business owners, their enterprise is more than just a source of income—it’s a legacy. 

Preparing for an exit involves building a business that can thrive independently, making it more attractive to potential buyers, which ultimately ensures you’re building a legacy that lasts.

To make sure your legacy is successfully built, he stressed the importance of focusing on strategic activities rather than day-to-day operations as that can increase both the business’s value and your satisfaction as the owner.

Watch the whole talk with Ken here.

Creating a Comprehensive Exit Strategy with Michael Coltharp

During our talk with Michael Coltharp of Next Act Planning Group, he dove into the intricacies of creating an exit strategy that addresses personal, financial, tax, and value creation issues. He stressed the importance of clear roles and responsibilities, especially in family-owned businesses, to prevent conflicts that can hinder growth. 

According to Michael, an effective marketing strategy and early planning are pivotal in attracting potential buyers and ensuring a smooth transition—the best time to start planning your exit strategy is now, which will ultimately ensure long-term growth and stability.

Find the whole talk with Michael here.

Don’t Underestimate the Complexity of Exiting with Sean Hutchinson

Sean Hutchinson of Ready for Next Advisory Group discussed with us the common hurdles business owners face, such as the challenge of allocating time for planning and the underestimation of the complexity involved in exiting a business. 

Sean stressed the critical need for a robust, interdisciplinary team that can offer comprehensive support across various aspects of your business, from value acceleration to legal to marketing and more. 

He specifically focused on the importance of risk management and understanding value drivers as essential for increasing a business’s worth, emphasizing that clear planning can significantly enhance decision-making and reduce operational chaos.

Watch the full video here.

Stay on Top of Long-Term Planning with Alan Gregory

Finally, we chatted with Alan Gregory of Legacy Media Consulting, whose perspective complements Hutchinson’s by highlighting the perils of neglecting long-term planning. Alan pointed out that many business owners are so engrossed in day-to-day operations that they lose sight of their business’s future and its potential to support their retirement. 

He said that it’s critical for business owners to implement standard operating procedures as a way of ensuring long-term success. We also discussed the importance of succession planning and organized financials and how they work as key steps toward making a business more attractive to potential buyers.

According to Alan, you need to treat your business not just as a source of immediate income but as a transferable asset that can ensure long-term financial security.

Check out Alan’s video here.

A Unified Approach to Exit Planning

The insights from these 5 experts explored several key themes: the importance of aligning a business’s values with its long-term goals, the need for early and strategic planning, and the value of building a strong professional team to navigate the exit process.

Whether it’s balancing tradition with modern practices in family-owned businesses, as Pete suggests, or focusing on value creation and risk management, as Michale and Sean recommend, the goal is clear—as a business owner, you need to think like an investor, prioritizing actions that enhance your business’s value and marketability.

Ready to get your business ready for your eventual exit? Our comprehensive, bespoke marketing strategies will map out every step you need to take to get your business ready to sell for the maximum possible price.

Learn more here.


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