Create Your Exit Plan Now for a Worry-Free Retirement

Create Your Exit Plan Now for a Worry-Free Retirement

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What will happen to your business, your company assets, and your employees once you decide to retire or if you were to die unexpectedly? These are important questions for any business owner to consider, and as you settle on answers, it’s critical that you codify them in an exit plan that details your goals.

A good exit plan can help shape the long-term financial and business goals of your company, while also providing a greater sense of certainty to the people who work for you. If you’ve never taken the time to brainstorm an exit strategy, now’s as good a time as any to do so.

Consider your options

There are two basic options for an exit plan: You can sell your company, or close it down.

Selling your business to an employee, colleague or family member can be a great way to continue your legacy while allowing you to step aside from day-to-day involvement. Note that most financing arrangements involve the buyer paying for the business over time, which means a progressive transition into new ownership.

Alternatively, you can liquidate and close shop. This can be hard to do, especially if you’ve spent many years building the business. Yet, selling your business can sometimes be the best way to turn a tidy profit.

If you decide to liquidate, you’ll need to be careful in communicating your intentions to employees so they can have ample time to find new work.

Maintain financial documentation

No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to have an accurate and up-to-date account of what your business is actually worth. This means preparing a number of key financial documents that denote your business assets, liabilities and overall performance.

Assembling these documents can take time, so it’s wise to regularly upkeep and review documents. That way, when you’re ready to sell or close down, you’ll have a good sense of your business’ financial standing.

Also note that assembling these documents and taking stock of what your business is worth may inform your decision to sell or liquidate.

Think about investors

Do you have investors or stakeholders who helped you get your business up and running? If so, remember to consider them in all of your exit planning, and to communicate with them about how and when they will be repaid for their investment.

Transition leadership

If the business is to continue without you, then you’ll need to identify a successor, mentor them and train them over the course of several years. Generally, it is best to have a documented chain of succession, just to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings among your team members.

Communicate clearly and proactively

Finally, remember to keep employees and customers in the loop. As the time draws near for you to exit your business, be transparent about what everyone can expect moving forward. Clear communication is the capstone of any good exit plan.

About the author: Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


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