The Perfect Exit Strategy

Every business owner ponders what it will be like when it comes time to sell their business. How will you let your baby go? After 16 wonderful years building a successful tradeshow display products company I was ready to move on, but didn’t want to go very far away. It was a dream come true to find a couple with youth, energy and a new view on moving my business to the next level of success who appreciated what I could add to their journey. I love the exhibit business and have great passion for using my 35 years of expertise in the industry to help exhibitors maximize their profits, but lost some of my excitement for the everday grind of running the operations. Now I have achieved the perfect exit strategy. A win-win for both myself and the new owner of my company. I get to continue to work with my valued clients, consult with them on their display products while speaking and training exhibitors around the country. I am very fortunate to have a great new relationship and a lucrative job. For those of you looking for a similar perfect exit strategy here are my suggestions:
1. Work with a professional business broker when selling your business.
2. Make a list of ways you can bring value to the new owners by staying connected to the business.
3. Look at the big picture and the long term opportunities.
4. Can you work for the new owners?
5. Can you offer valuable consultation services going forward?
6. Can you contribute long term and set up a bonus system that rewards you for helping the business continue to grow?
7. Never burn your bridges.
For information on my business sale go to


3 Responses to “The Perfect Exit Strategy”

  1. 1 keith September 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    It is always great to have some options, many of us business owners are fortunate to love what we do but there is a time when it is just time to leave. I’ll keep these tips handy for that day but reat information – thank you.

  2. 2 susanratliff September 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Keith, glad they were useful tips. I hope when it’s your time to make a move you can negotiate a satifyimg exit.

  3. 3 Nancy Sanders September 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Love your strategies, Susan. Interesting to note that they are really the same marketing strategies used to build businesses (as well as to sell the business)!

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