How to create an exit strategy for your small business

exit strategy

A business exit strategy is a plan for how a business owner will sell or otherwise exit their business.

It is essential to have an exit strategy in place, even if you do not plan to sell your business anytime soon. An exit strategy can help you:

  • Determine the value of your business
  • Identify potential buyers
  • Maximize the sale price of your business
  • Ensure a smooth transition for your employees and customers

Types of Business Exit Strategies

There are many different types of business exit strategies.

Some of the most common include:

  • Selling to a third party: This is the most common type of exit strategy. You can sell your business to another company, an individual, or a group of investors.
  • Selling to a family member or friend: This can be a good option if you want to keep the business in the family or with someone you trust.
  • Liquidating the business: This means selling off all of the business’s assets and closing it down. This is a good option if the business is no longer profitable or you cannot find a buyer.
  • Going public: This means taking your business public and selling shares of stock to investors. This is a good option if you want to raise a lot of money and give up some control of your business.

If you would like to learn more about all the different types of exit strategies for your small business you should visit

Steps for Creating a Business Exit Strategy

Here are the steps for creating a business exit strategy:

  1. Determine your goals: What do you want to achieve with your exit strategy? Do you want to maximize the sale price of your business? Do you want to ensure a smooth transition for your employees and customers? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a strategy to achieve them.
  2. Assess your business: What is the value of your business? What are its strengths and weaknesses? What are the opportunities and threats facing your industry? The answers to these questions will help you determine the best exit strategy for your business.
  3. Identify potential buyers: Who might be interested in buying your business? Do you have any potential buyers in mind? If not, you can start to reach out to potential buyers and gauge their interest.
  4. Develop a timeline: When do you want to exit your business? How long will it take to find a buyer and complete the sale? Having a timeline will help you stay on track and ensure your exit strategy is successful.
  5. Document your exit strategy: Once you have developed your exit strategy, it is important to document it. This will help you communicate your plans to potential buyers and ensure a smooth transition.


A business exit strategy is an integral part of any business plan.

By having an exit strategy in place, you can ensure that your business is sold for the best possible price and that your employees and customers are cared for.

If you are unsure how to create a business exit strategy, many resources are available to help you.

You can talk to a business advisor, an accountant, or a qualified business broker.