Exit signMost business people in start-ups and smaller businesses tend to be working so hard to get their business in the black that they forget to look at the horizon.

But knowing what you want from the business at the exit point is as important as what the business is all about. It shapes the culture, size, shareholding and profit profile. Knowing how to create capital value and retain it is fundamental to business growth.

In an article in the FT recently, Caroline Belcher, partner and head of the exit planning practice at Cavendish Corporate Finance, wrote:

“Start preparing for the exit plan between 12 months and three years before you want to exit.

“You need to be very clear about who is going to buy the business. Fit the business to the acquirer, not the other way round. It is really about understanding the buyer market. Not many people think that far ahead.”

A salutary warning: think ahead to navigate your way around the hurdles and achieve the highest return on your blood, sweat and tears.

Click here to find out more – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5f635b96-c07a-11e1-9372-00144feabdc0.html#axzz28KloCy5L