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Selling a Startup – 5 Considerations to Make a Profitable Exit 

Successfully selling a startup requires a lot of planning. The most frequent mistake entrepreneurs make is to underestimate the amount of planning that is required.

Prior to pursuing an exit plan for a start-up, it is essential that business owners have a solid understanding of the importance of their company. This will allow them to effectively convey this worth to potential buyers. Startup exit plans must also be based on how the sale price relates to the personal needs of the founder following the sale.

Making sure that a thorough plan is in place prior to the possibility of selling your Startup can result in enormous savings over the long run. Inadequate planning can result in, and often will result in costly professional costs for accountants, lawyers, and consultants.

In this article, we discuss 5 important things to take into consideration in the startup exit plan.

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Selling a Startup | Tips to Make a Profitable Exit 

How do you exit? A strategy to exit for startups allows entrepreneurs and founders to plan an effortless transfer of ownership at the right time and at a price that is in line with the investment objectives of all participants. We will look at ten factors to consider when deciding on an exit strategy.

1. What kind of exit do want to take?

The type of company, the industry it is in and its existing ownership structures, exits may take a variety of ways.

Acquisition It is the time when a business purchases enough shares from another company to control it. In reality, this is usually buying more than half of the assets or stock of the company that is being targeted. Acquisitions can be completed with or without the approval of the company that is being targeted. The company may decide to purchase another due to a variety of reasons, including getting the benefit of greater economies of scale taking market share, and cutting expenses.

Initial Public Offering (IPO) It is when shares of a private firm (the start-up) are made available to the public through an IPO that is a new issue of stock. Before going through the IPO the company is classified as private. Shareholders of private companies could include the founders, their families and acquaintances, venture capitalists, and any other investors in the early stages.

The decision to go through with an IPO is a significant decision for a private business to take. It can ultimately bring a company an abundance of capital, but it is also a set of regulations and transparency standards that have to be met. Going public can give credibility and respectability that could aid in negotiations over the terms of capital.

Management purchase Management buyout: This is a deal where the manager who is in charge of the company purchases assets of the business they oversee. This is attractive because the managers will receive higher potential rewards and more control over their employees compared to managers.

There are many other possibilities for options that aren’t covered like liquidation or succession. Knowing what the outcomes could be can help create a plan for exiting your startup that is most suitable for your requirements.

The difficult IPO stage isn’t easy for startups. It’s the last hurdle to overcome before going public. If you’re not certain how to go about it or how you can prepare yourself to go through the procedure, it could be daunting. This isn’t the information that you stumble upon however, you can begin by reading an article on why acquisitions fail.

2. Be prepared for the unexpected

A firm exit plan could be counterintuitive to businesses that are profitable. The founder of a flourishing business might be completely content with the growth up to now but why would they need to leave the business?

There are a variety of reasons. It’s essential to take into consideration and create an exit strategy for a company even if there’s no plan to sell. If the last 10 years have taught us anything, it’s that we should be prepared for unexpected events.

The best reasons to conduct a plan for exits from startups include:

Health issues: at any moment anyone may be affected by health concerns personal to us. These issues, as well as those that affect the people closest to us, could limit the capacity of a company manager effectively perform their job. In such instances, it could be beneficial to consider exiting an enterprise.

Recession: The effects of a recession on the economy could be disastrous for businesses. When recession strikes and you are forced to exit strategy could be a way to avoid the consequences.

Opportunities: Larger corporations, as well as more established competitors, could be looking to buy your business. If this opportunity is presented it is advisable to know the best way to proceed. Even if the only result is a meeting with potential buyers.

A clearly defined exit strategy With a clearly defined exit strategy, business leaders will also set a clear objective. A clear objective to pursue ensures that, as the business expands, the ultimate goal is always at the forefront. In reality, this means the reporting and processes can be designed from the beginning on, and ensure that when the right time arrives to move on, it’s as smooth as it can be.

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3. Select your preferred buyer

Deciding at an early stage whom you’ll sell to will help establish the framework of your exit plan. If you’re certain that you’re interested in selling quickly, then it’s a good idea to identify prospective buyers in advance and keep them informed of the business’s growth and milestones. When you’re ready to sell, it’s an easy move.

Establishing these relationships right from the beginning can bring benefits. Even the prospect of not being a serious buyer the chance to collect buyer feedback and data will prove beneficial in the end.

If you are aware that you’ll be handing the reins of your venture to your family members or managers or management, you might be able to provide specific details about the timeframe for years in advance. Or, you could be able to benefit from more flexibility in your exit strategy that is not influenced by the needs of another company.

4. Get that value up

This is a common-sense approach. Does every startup want to get the most valuable valuation possible do they not?

In general, startups are focused on value creation. By setting goals for growth and milestones, value is created. This is different than generating value by having an exit with an exit in your mind.

Of course, the best method to boost the startup valuation is to go through the regular way of doing business. Being a fundamentally successful start-up that has a steady growth in revenues and growth opportunities, will bring value. However, when it comes to leaving if your plan has been able to identify the exit you’d like to take it is possible to refine your strategy and make as much profit as you can.

The timing of the closing date can affect the valuation. Knowing you’re planning an exit will allow you to concentrate on the aspects of your startup that the potential buyer is likely to be interested in the most whether it’s growing revenue or hiring a skilled team. Setting up the business in preparation in advance for an eventual sale is the best method.

Keep in mind that buyers are seeking to bargain your price down So you must begin with a position that is the strongest.

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5. Know your market

A thorough understanding of your market is essential to the success of your exit. Understanding your industry and the customers it serves, knowing your competitors, and knowing what differentiates you from the competition is the most important factor to success. The big picture is as important as the small-scale details and lets you look back and look at how your business could change, and provide you with insight into the way that a successful exit could be made.

Bonus Tip: Get help

It can be a challenge even as a founder. The process of running a startup can be taking up a lot of time and there’s often an essential decision to be taken and there’s not much time to take it. The best answer may not be apparent regardless of how many competitions or comparables you analyze the answer may not be obvious. The idea of seeking help from expert consultants isn’t a weakness. In fact, it can assist you in positioning your company in the optimal way to make the best possible exit.

Don’t be afraid of asking for assistance.

Last Words

A strategy for exiting startups is an essential element. Beginning your plan early and executing it as your company expands will ensure that when you are ready to sell your business, you will get the most value for your money.

Chris Evan was born in Quebec and raised in Montreal, except for the time when he moved back to Quebec and attended high school there. He studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. He began writing after obsessing over books.


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