If you planned ahead by including an exit strategy in your business plan, you deserve a pat on the back for being thorough. At the same time, your original plan may no longer be relevant. As your personal life changes, business priorities shift, and new industry-wide regulations come into play, your plan will need to change as well. Keeping your exit plan updated is important whether you’re planning to put your transportation business for sale next year or decades down the road. By making sure you keep your pre-sale goals in view, you’ll be more likely to achieve them and then to be prepared to have a highly profitable and smooth sale.
Several types of changes can contribute to your need to revise your business plans: business value, potential successor, and personal circumstances are some of the most significant.
How has your business changed since you first purchased or began it? Perhaps you provide fewer or more diverse services or have expanded through acquisitions. Perhaps the economy has forced you to downsize your fleet or sell off certain assets. Your transportation business’s value will be significant to a prospective buyer, so changes that impact your business’s finances mean you need to reevaluate your exit strategy in order to reach the goals you have before putting your transportation business on the market.
At one point, maybe you dreamed your daughter or nephew would take over the family business or your business partner would want to buy you out. When those assumptions are proven false, you need to make appropriate changes. An exit strategy geared toward an outside buyer will need to include more detailed documentation and organizational prowess. If your plans are to hand the business over to someone within your company, make sure to keep your finger on the pulse of that person’s changing needs and desires. Open communication can go a long way toward making sure you don’t fail to prepare for a different sale scenario, making sure you’re poised to receive a decent sale price.
Your successor isn’t the only one whose personal goals and circumstances are subject to change: So are yours. Perhaps your marital status has changed or descendants have increased. Maybe your health or a loved one’s health has deteriorated. Your passion for expanding your business may be driving you into new levels of success, but in a few years, you may become even more passionate about volunteerism or other pursuits. Your exit strategy should reflect all of that.
Keeping your exit strategy current can help make sure you’re able to follow your ideal timeline and make sure your transportation business is ready to attain a good sale price when that time comes.
Photo credits: Top © RJ Lerich / Fotolia. Bottom © Geza Farkas / Fotolia
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