Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Planning for the End of Your Business Before it Even Starts

If you search “how to start a business” on Google, you will see the words “business plan” a hundred times. Your business plan can be as flexible and custom-fitted to your venture as you want it to be, however, there are some components that cannot be overlooked, such as funding, organization and financial projections. The U.S. Small Business Administration is a good starting point for DIY business planning, but having an accountant, financial advisor and an attorney have a look at your plan is strongly recommended. You never know what you may miss when blinded by your ambitions.

One of the most overlooked parts of a business plan is the owner’s exit strategy. Assuming no one wants to literally work themselves to death, contemplating for retirement or succession should be one of a business owner’s top considerations. It can seem a little unnatural to think about selling your business before you even open your doors, but a little planning goes a long way.

For example, you don’t necessarily have to establish an exact date or monetary goal (“I am going to sell my business on my sixtieth birthday for $1M”), but “scheduling time” within your business plan to collaborate with your accountant, financial planner and possibly even a business broker for periodic assessments can ensure you will stay on track with your personal retirement or succession goals.