Exit Planning for Business Owners

When it comes to selling your business, there are a lot of factors that come into play. For instance, how do you know what your business is worth? What are the best ways to market your business for sale? Which business broker or M&A advisor should you work with when selling your business? These are all critical questions to ask when selling your small business. 

In this article, we will discuss exit planning strategies for small and medium-sized businesses. We will cover topics such as valuing your business and working with business brokers and M&A advisors. If you are thinking about selling a small business, keep reading below to learn more about exit planning and selling.

Selling Your Small Business

When you sell a business, you are selling the rights to all or part of the company. This includes the assets, liabilities, and any other interests in the company. In most cases, selling a business also includes transferring the shares of the company to the new owner. 

There are a few different methods to sell a business. You can either find a buyer yourself or use a business broker or M&A advisor to oversee the sale. Business brokers and M&A advisors are professionals who can help business owners sell their companies. They have contacts with potential buyers, and they know how to market your company effectively.

The process can take several months and even as long as a year, and several details will need to be handled before the finalized deal. Since the selling process is often lengthy and complicated, working with a professional business broker and M&A advisor who knows the selling process inside out is essential. 

Exit Planning for Small Businesses

When selling a business, it’s vital to have an exit plan in place. This exit plan is a strategy that outlines what will happen to the company after you have left.

It would be best to contemplate several things when creating exit plans for your small business. The most significant thing is to ensure the company is still running smoothly after leaving. For example, if your business sells products to customers, make sure there are enough products in stock and selling well before selling the company.

It’s also important to figure out what will happen with employees once you’re gone. Will they continue working for the new owner? Or will they be terminated? If so, do you have a severance package in place for those employees? 

Here are several questions to consider when creating an exit plan: 

  1. What is the company’s value?
  2. How will the company be marketed?
  3. Who should you work with when selling your business?
  4. What are the tax implications of selling a business?
  5. Who are the prospective buyers for my business?
  6. Finally, how long will it take to sell my business?


These questions will help you develop a thorough exit strategy for your small business. The process of selling a business can be time-consuming and complex, so it’s best to begin planning early and have a solid plan in place.

Why Exit Planning Is Important 

Exit planning is crucial because it helps you prepare for the sale of your business. You will know what to expect when selling your company and how much money you should anticipate from the sale.

 Additionally, extra preparation will help you negotiate the selling price and terms of sale with potential buyers. First, you must decipher how much your business is worth so your potential buyer knows that you are selling your business for a fair price.

Here are additional reasons why exit planning can benefit business owners. 

Exit planning helps with your long-term goals

Exit planning can help with your long-term goals, and it lets you know what to expect when selling your company and how you should prepare. For example, if you plan to sell the business after three years, you will know how much money to save up and what kind of person would make an ideal buyer for your company.

It will also help you negotiate the selling price and terms of sale with potential buyers. When you are prepared, selling your business will be a smoother process that aligns with your business goals.

Exit planning allows you to plan for retirement

If you are planning on retiring after the sale of your business, exit planning can help you prepare for retirement. 

If you plan on selling your company to fund your estate, exit planning can also help you with this process. As a result, your estate planning will be easier to manage, and the selling process will be straightforward. 

Exit planning provides peace of mind

When selling a business, the process can be emotional and demanding. You want to make sure your business is in good hands and that the selling process goes smoothly. Exit planning can give you peace of mind because it helps you prepare for the different aspects of selling your company. 

It will also help you with potential tax implications for selling a business and ensure that everything is in order before you leave. 

Exit planning also allows you to hand over the business to a new owner in a favorable way for everyone involved. The new owner will be prepared for running the company, and you will have peace of mind knowing that you are leaving your business in good hands. 

When selling your business, it’s crucial to have a detailed exit plan in place. Planning will help ensure that the company runs well after leaving and that employees are taken care of. The selling process can be lengthy and complicated, so it’s essential to start planning early. 

Valuing Your Business 

Before you sell your business, it’s essential to know what your company is worth. You should never underestimate or overvalue how much your business is selling for. Finding the right buyer and negotiating a reasonable price will be challenging if you don’t know how much your business can sell for and you definitely do not want to leave any money on the table.  

There are numerous ways to decide how much your company is worth. Additionally, you can hire a business valuation expert to help you value your business. 

Here are some tips for valuing your business before a sale: 

  •   Be realistic about selling your business.
  •   Research similar companies in your trade to see what their sale price is.
  •   Work with a business broker who knows how to value businesses in your industry.
  •   Consider the company’s assets, liabilities, and earnings.
  •   Consider how much you need to make from the sale if the sale is to fund your retirement.

Once you have an idea of what your business is worth, you can market it to potential buyers. 

Merging Your Business 

If you’re not interested in selling your business but are instead looking to merge with another company, there are several other things you need to consider. 

When merging two businesses, it’s imperative to make sure both companies are a good fit for each other. The merger should benefit both companies and help them grow. Moreover, it would be helpful if you made sure both companies are on the same page regarding finances. 

It’s also important that each company sells for a fair price and not overvalue itself. Here are some things to contemplate if you’re interested in merging your business with another company: 

  •   What are the benefits of a merger for both companies?
  •   Are the two companies compatible?
  •   How will the merge be financed?
  •   Who will run the new company?

The answers to these questions will help you decide if a merger is a suitable option for your business. 

Using a Business Broker and M&A advisor 

When selling your small business, it’s essential to work with a professional business broker and M&A advisor. They have experience selling businesses and know how to market your company effectively.

Business brokers and M&A advisors have contacts with potential buyers, and they know how to negotiate with them on your behalf. They will help you price the company correctly and ensure that everything is handled correctly during the selling process. Furthermore, business brokers have experience with the legalities of selling a business. They will make sure that all the paperwork is in order and that you are protected during the sale. 

It’s essential to work with an experienced business broker and M&A advisor who has previously sold businesses that are similar in size. This way, they will give you an accurate valuation and help you find the right buyer for your business. 


If you want to sell your business, start planning ahead. The selling process can be lengthy and complicated, so work with a professional who knows how to sell businesses. By following a proper exit strategy and the information listed above, you can sell your business for a fair price and find the right buyer. 

Before selling the company, make sure that you have information about its assets, liabilities, and earnings. This will help you price the company correctly and make sure that you get the best deal possible. 

Selling your business is a straightforward process if you do your due diligence and prepare and research. However, there are numerous variables to consider, so spend some time exploring them all. Our advisors at Beacon Mergers & Acquisitions can help you navigate selling your business and with your business valuations. 

Contact us today or see our related blog posts for more information about our business brokerage firm.