Exit Planning During Uncertain Times

By Generational Equity


The importance of developing an effective exit strategy is vital for all businesses no matter what the external circumstances may be. However, during periods of economic and political turmoil, doing so becomes even more critical. Or as Lewis Carroll famously said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

This piece is scheduled to publish on November 7th, 2022, the day before the election in the U.S. It is also in the midst of record-breaking inflation rates, growing recession concerns, a war in Ukraine, and general unease about where the country is heading (not to mention weather events like Hurricane Ian).

Now, more than ever before, it is vital to develop an exit strategy that is well thought-out, timely, and cohesive, addressing all your personal financial concerns and your legacy. During the best of times that can be a challenge for many business owners; during times like this, far too many entrepreneurs take a defensive mode and focus on short-term survival rather than longer-term exit planning success.

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum and regardless of your economic forecasting skills, the reality is that you need experienced, trusted, exit planning guidance that has proven successful no matter what external issues you/we are confronting.

Fortunately for you, one M&A advisory firm has the track record you can trust no matter what short-term political/economic issues the nation may be facing: Generational Group and its family of companies.

Here is the reality: All things eventually pass (even bad times), and the wise person knows how to adapt, react and plan for changes, and take advantage of opportunities that abound even during tough times. Just look at the amazing resiliency of U.S. entrepreneurs during the 2020 pandemic. Some businesses in several industries actually thrived during those dark months because they did what Marines do: Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome!

Can you guess how many recessions we have had since the end of WWII? In total we have had 13 in the past 77 years. And how many have we recovered from and, in the long run, thrived? You guessed it, 13!

So, you need to take the long-term view when you look at exiting your business. If it takes 9-14 months to close a transaction with an optimal buyer (from the day you start your process by hiring an M&A advisory firm until the day the deal closes and you head to the next phase of your life), even if you decided to start today, it would most likely be January 2024 when you close ­– well beyond the end of the 2023 recession that many are predicting.

Getting back to the Generational Group and the services we provide business owners on their exit journey, our deal teams have decades of experience in creating buyer ready businesses, analyzing and evaluating businesses, and most importantly, finding prime buyers for our clients. Our track record speaks for itself:

In summary, we may be facing some uncertain months ahead, but you need to plan regardless. Even if we are thrilled with the election results, inflation is tamed, and we avoid a recession, you still need to plan for your eventual exit. And not just plan, but truly drill into what your exit will look like and the legacy you want to leave for your company, its employees, your family and your community.

These are tough questions to answer even during the best of times; during uncertain times, these become even more critical to address.

If you want to learn more about the opportunities that will open up for your business over the next few months or years, please plan to attend a Generational Growth and Exit Planning Conference soon. While there you will learn just how you too can plan and execute an effective (and profitable) exit no matter what the external circumstances may be.

And I leave you with some kernels of wisdom to contemplate tomorrow and the following days and weeks:

  • If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty
    Stephen Covey
  • Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process
    Harold S. Geneen
  • It’s a skill to navigate uncertainty
    Monty Williams

Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

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