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5 Stages – 21 Steps Business Succession and Exit Planning Process

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5 Stages – 21 Steps Business Succession and Exit Planning Process

By , October 18, 2023
Exit strategy

For those business owners nearing exit, leaving their business is a life-changing event and represents a significant change after running and guiding their life’s work for so many years. Barely a week goes by when a business owner doesn’t approach us to say, ‘Hey, I have about 18 months to 2 years before I’d like to retire. How can I best utilize my time and resources?’ What this represents is a much greater awareness amongst business owners of the need to prepare for a successful exit and not just hope for the best.

Over the years, we’ve noticed some repeating patterns and this led to us to form our 21-Step process to get a business exit ready. Now, these 21 steps are grouped into five stages, and they’re all focused around maximising the value of your business and streamlining the exit process.

Stage One is to identify the value in your business, and value is often hidden off the balance sheet and in the habits and behaviours of the people running the business. We identify the options that are available and how we can capture this hidden value.

Next, in Stage Two, we want to protect the value already built. We look at what will happen in the case of an unplanned exit, and we also explore some personal financial planning to understand what is required to achieve your personal goals and desires.

Stage Three is all about maximising value and depending on how much time you have available will determine just how much can be done. If you want to make the most of what you already have, then 18 months is good. If you want to build more value, then you want to double that at least.

Then come Stage Four. This is the big event. This is where we extract the value you’ve built. Here’s where all of the tax planning ahead of time pays off in a really big way.

And Stage Five, it’s all about managing this value. You’ve worked hard for many years, now you’ve got different assets to manage, protect, and grow.

Now, this has been a high level overview of our 21-step process to get you and your business exit ready.

If you’d like further detail and an example of how it works in practice, then I recommend you download, a copy of our book titled ‘Enjoy It.

Darryl Bates-Brownsword

Darryl Bates-Brownsword

CEO | Succession Plus UK

Darryl is a dynamic, driven Business Mentor and Coach with over 20 years of experience and passion for creating successful outcomes for founder-led businesses. He is a great connector, team builder, problem solver, and inspirer – showing the way through complexity to simplicity.

He has built 2 international multi-million turnover businesses; one now operating in 16 countries. His quick and analytical approach cuts through to the core issues quickly and identifying the context. He challenges the status quo and gets consistent, repeatable and reliable business results.

Originating in Australia, Darryl’s first career was as an Engineer in the Power Industry. Building businesses bought him to the UK in 2003 where he quickly developed a reputation for combining systems thinking with great creativity to get results in challenging situations.

A keen competitive cyclist, he also has a B Eng (Mech) Engineering and an MBA.