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Every business has a life cycle. As a small or mid-sized business owner or manager you need to think about where the business is in its life cycle and what the winning strategy is for you and the business. If your business and industry are in the growth phase of the life cycle it may be fine to grow your business organically (from within). When your business is in the mature or declining phase of the life cycle it is time to think about either acquisition of competitors or selling. At one point or another small and mid-sized business owners all must exit the current scene. This is not a bad thing. If the business has done well a private or public offering may well bring wealth to the owners and a more rewarding career for themselves and family members. If the business is struggling to keep up with larger competitors a merger strategy can preserve wealth and employment for themselves and family members.
What’s Your Exit Strategy?
Every owner and manager needs to think ahead. What’s the next step? Buying new businesses or selling your business is part of the natural process of business. Too many owners and employees think that the sale of a business is some type of unfortunate event. This isn’t so. It is simply the natural evolution of your business. The world and business is constantly evolving. We must all evolve or die.
Those companies who fight the natural and evolutionary path generally become extinct relics. It is generally best to “begin with the end in mind” as Steven Covey says. Why not plan for your companies evolution. Determine your exit strategy ahead of time.
Will your company become acquisitive and buy competing firms forming a larger company with a bigger market share? Will your company “Go Public” and become a powerhouse with more capital to pursue a larger market? Will your company become part of a larger enterprise and participate in a greate market for decades or even centuries more?
Whatever your choice the last thing you want to do is watch from the sidelines, doing nothing, while all the other players move forward, evolving, one way or the other.
Is it the right time to make a move; to change things at your firm? Is it the right time to start planning ahead like a wise businessman; getting ready, preparing, for the necessary and inevitable evolutionary change your business will require to continue to exist.