In business, an exit strategy, exit plan, or strategic withdrawal, is a way to transition one's ownership of a company, presumably, for a maximum value. Those who own the company typically want to plan ways they can recoup the capital invested in the company, along with an acceptible return on that investment.
Common exit strategies
- Selling ones ownership, also known as equity position, to a buyer. Buyers can be strategic buyers, who see an opportunity by combining similar or complimentary businesses; or investment buyers, who believe the acquisition can provide a good return on investment over time or with certain changes.
- Merging ones ownership of a company into another company in the same or complimentary business.
- Selling the company to employee in the form of partnerships or ESOPs.
A less appealing, but sometimes necessary, exit strategy is to shut down or shutter a business, or a portion of a business.
Exit strategy advisers
Several types of professionals are available to guide you through selling a business. Depending on the size and field of your business, some of the professionals you may want to consult include: lawyers, accountants, business brokers, auctioneers, tax experts, bankers, and the IRS. Seek referrals from satisfied customers and trusted business associates in your industry or area. Also, in your area, you may seek couseling from such non-profit organizations as SCORE or Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).