Today we begin the last chapter of Bootstrap Business, No Exit Strategy. Rich teaches the importance of knowing what type of exit you want, decided when you first start your business.
In business, one of the first things you need to do is plan the last thing you need to do. No, Rich isn’t going to talk about your last will and testament; what he will talk about is your exit strategy. In your venture, what’s the endgame? How do you want this bright idea of yours to play out? It’s a given that you need to plan the beginning of your venture; in fact, some entrepreneurs are so good at planning the beginning that they forget either to get to work or to remember that it will have an end. The thing is, if you don’t create an exit strategy, the market will
do it for you.
How you want to exit determines how you start. Are you looking at an asset sale in two years? Do you want to create a dynasty? Maybe you are hoping for a cash-out event to a competitor. With any of these options, you don’t need a crystal ball. You just need to make a choice. As market variables change, you may change your strategy along with them. There is no guarantee you’ll get exactly what you want, but knowing where you want to end up points you in the right direction.
Don’t lie awake at night strategizing step-by-step exit plans. Set a goal, make rules, and get back to work. Understanding your exit will help guide you in building, organizing, and establishing your business. Run your venture well—and when the curtain falls, know which side of the stage you’re going to exit on!