Business owners have business plans and marketing plans. They have sales projections and all kinds of other plans, but they rarely have an exit plan.

The exit plan involves
  1. getting the owner and his family ready for retirement
  2. getting the business ready for sale
  3. getting the new owner ready
The owner needs to make four major decisions:
  1. When he wants to retire
  2. How he is going to live
  3. What he is going to do
  4. Who will take over
All of these things take time. They cannot happen overnight. Therefore, to extract maximum value from the business, getting started as early as possible is essential. When is as early as possible? Preferably even before you open for the first time. Set goals for when you have to be profitable. Set goals for how much you can set aside for retirement and how much gets re-invested in the firm.

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