Own a Business? 12 Visible Signs You Need to Start Planning Your Exit

An exit door with a light shining through it, providing a symbol of hope for executives and CEOs.

Whether you know it or not, decisions you’re making today could affect your eventual exit. And based on the complexities of successful exit planning in today’s world, the proper process could take years. So, here are 12 clear signs you need to start your exit planning process … now.

  • You don’t know your adjusted EBITDA.
  • If you have co-owners (more than 70% of business owners have co-owners, and the average is 2.7 co-owners), you lack a buy-sell agreement.
  • Co-owners who plan to sell to an outsider have a buy-sell agreement that lacks drag-along/tag-along options.
  • Your management team cannot run the company without you.
  • As the owner, you are directly involved with prospects and customers.
  • Your largest customer exceeds 25% of your revenue and/or profits.
  • If you plan to sell to insiders, you lack financing and tax plans.
  • If you plan to “sell” to the kids.
  • Your company does not prepare and follow a budget.
  • Your company does not prepare and follow a business plan.
  • Golden handcuffs (phantom stock, etc.), if you even have them for your key employees, pays out immediately upon sale.
  • Your company is a regular C corporation and you plan to sell some day.

Do you see any of these signs in your company? If so, it’s time to start your exit planning process. It doesn’t mean you have to retire now … or sell the company now … or stop working now. It just means you need to start doing the work NOW to prepare your company for your happy and successful exit, whenever you choose that to be.

The proper process starts with people who do this for a living, not as a sideline — or know just one or two phases of the process. Find someone who can coordinate all of the proven processes with you, and act as your quarterback on your exit planning team.

Check it out at NAVIXconsultants.com. No cost or obligation to visit the website and view the educational resources … see if this is right for you and your business.

Clark Vitulli is a Certified Exit Planning Consultant. He is a CEO with hands-on leadership experience with large OEM corporations and retail businesses. He has valuable qualifications from his vast background in turn-arounds, brand building, manufacturing and product launches. Importantly, he has executed successful start-ups, acquisitions and exits. If you’re looking for vistage, executive coaching or leadership coaching, contact Music City CEOs today.

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