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Exit Like a Boss: Essential Insights for Crafting Your Business Exit Strategy

Succession Planning

Exit Like a Boss: Essential Insights for Crafting Your Business Exit Strategy

By , May 26, 2024
Step 1

Based on insights from the ‘Exit Like a Boss Podcast – 21-Step Challenge‘, this blog covers Step 1 – Introduction and Overview of Exit Strategies.

An exit strategy isn’t just about selling your business; it’s a comprehensive roadmap that defines your business’s future, ensuring success for you, your family, your stakeholders, and the legacy you leave behind.

Crafting a robust exit strategy is a fundamental step for any business owner. It provides a clear pathway for the future and ensures that the years you’ve invested in the business are rewarded, not just financially, but also in terms of legacy and continuity.

Diverse Exit Avenues

Your exit strategy is a multifaceted plan, encompassing various possibilities, such as selling to private equity, going public through an IPO, or transitioning ownership to the next generation. Each exit avenue demands rigorous preparation and strategizing.

As a business owner, you often get consumed in the day-to-day operations, striving to enhance sales, optimize marketing strategies, attract more customers, and elevate profits. However, you might neglect to pause and contemplate the core reason you embarked on this entrepreneurial journey – the problem you aimed to solve.

Critical Aspects of Exit and Succession Planning

Initially, most businesses are created from a desire to address specific problems. Whether it’s designing beautiful buildings, fixing plumbing issues, or providing legal solutions, businesses are problem solvers. However, amidst the whirlwind of running a business, the fundamental problem is often overlooked – how to exit the business and extract the value amassed over years, even generations.

Successful exit and succession planning hinge on three critical aspects. First, the business must be primed and ready, with risks managed and preparations in place for ownership and management transitions. Second, the financial aspect, encompassing both business and personal finances, is pivotal. Adequate readiness for retirement or embarking on the next venture is crucial. Finally, your post-business plans play a vital role in a seamless exit.

There are diverse avenues for business exit, such as selling the business, passing it down to the next generation, or exploring options like an IPO, private equity sale, employee share plans, or management buyouts. However, they all require meticulous preparation, and the most successful exits are those with extensive preparation periods.

The Comprehensive 21-Step Exit Strategy












In this detailed guide, we present 21 steps across five stages to maximize the value of your business and ensure a successful exit. Each step is carefully crafted to guide you through the intricacies of a successful exit, paving the way for a bright future beyond your business.

Remember, preparing for an exit strategy is not just a financial move – it’s about ensuring a thriving legacy for your business and securing a prosperous life after business. Stay tuned as we navigate through the stages and steps, unraveling the secrets to successfully exiting like a boss.

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Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

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