One thing I’ve learned, dealing with people and businesses coming and going since the 1990s, is that it’s a good idea to explore options before you make the decision to exit your business. In my experience, this conversation generally happens in your own head.
I’ve gained perspective in discussions with leaders and entrepreneurs around the globe. They’ve eased the way in creating what I consider an exit strategy.
I hope this frame of reference will help you create a plan. While this could take days, weeks, or months, I’m oversimplifying it for the purpose of this blog, and will go into more detail in next week’s post.
Before you make the decision to shut down and walk away:
- Think about the community and people you have beyond your employees — customers, neighboring businesses, and their customers. Understand that you have created communities whether you realize it or not, and the members of those communities count on you, trust in you, and support you.
- Think about the alliances and impact you’ve made. What does it really mean if you shut down? What happens to all the people and all the resources that you have compiled? Is there value there that you could pass along? I’ve been fortunate in the past to have had people call me and say I’m closing the business, would you mind interviewing a few candidates that might be a good fit for you? or, Would you be interested in taking these 3 clients?
- Think about those in your industry you should connect with NOW, so when the time comes there is someone that could manage your business or buy it from you. In my experience, this could allow you to transition rather than just closing down — keeping the business running whether it’s a new name, or something else, at least the goals and the passion continues.
Most of the entrepreneurs I’ve worked with over the past 30 years cared about a problem or an opportunity they saw in their communities. They started because they were trying to solve a problem for themselves or their community, or they saw an opportunity to provide a service or cover a need for the community. With time, they grew to bigger businesses.
BEFORE YOU GO
We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.
- What community have you built that you could leverage before you exit?
- What can work within your industry?
- How can you create value so when you exit the momentum stays on?
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.