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Why an Exit Plan Always Pays Off


Why an Exit Plan Always Pays Off

By , June 9, 2020
plan – action

What do you need to do to build more value in your future?

If you were to start your business for the first time, what would you do?  How would you start again?  What would be different?  Would you begin with the end more clearly in mind?  Would you have an exit plan?

Just think – one page of blank paper, no limitations.

What happens when you think differently?

Shaking it up requires radical thinking (note I did not say reckless).  It’s not for the feint hearted, it’s for the brave.  It takes courage and commitment to rethink everything about your business.  It means parking your ego at the door and asking, “what’s possible?”

Everyone feels that the world is going to be different after a crisis.  How much really changes?  Are you going to be chasing the same customers.  Are you going to do things in the same way they always have done.  The winners are businesses that move forward and really think about how to serve their customers and staff – and themselves – in a way which adds value to everyone.  So, what do you need to think about?

Getting Started

I think there are 7 questions you need to ask when you are shaking up your business:

  1. Planning
  2. People
  3. Processes
  4. Business model
  5. Cashflow
  6. Your role in the business
  7. Your life outside the business

Where do you start?

Well we might as well start at the beginning – everything starts with an idea, then a plan.


Surprisingly most business owners do not strategically plan at all.  A small number have a basic long-term plan in their heads.  An even smaller number have a written plan.  Rarely is it shared with senior management let alone all employees.   Yet the businesses that have a plan perform better, achieve bigger goals, and do it faster than businesses that don’t plan.  When ask why they don’t plan, the most common answer is “I don’t know where to start” or “I’m no good at spreadsheets”.  Planning has nothing to do with spreadsheets.


What’s the key to getting effective planning?

Firstly, a plan does not have to be complicated.  The simpler the better.  If it can’t be communicated to everyone in the organisation, then it’s not going to be effective.  Getting the entire organisation included in implementing the plan makes a huge difference.  Everyone who understands the goals can work more effectively towards them.


A strategic plan has, at its most basic level, the following components:

  • Vision – what does a great future look like?
  • Values – what do you stand for? What do you stand against?
  • Passion and purpose – your “why”
  • Market – an understanding of your ideal customers and what they want
  • Product / services
  • Sales and marketing – how people find what you offer and how you sell
  • People – who you need to deliver your products and feel your passion
  • Business model – what is needed to make sure you are making money and can grow?
  • Operations – how do you deliver great services


Planning takes some time and clear thinking.

If it were easy everyone would do it BUT it is not that hard if you make the effort to focus on what you really want your business to do for you.  Most business owners are looking for their business to fund their retirement.  Strategic planning makes good sense if you want to secure your future.  Time taken to plan now will save you thousands £££’s, lots of time in the future and may even allow you to achieve your dreams years in advance.  Taking the first step is always the hardest part of any journey into new territory

Christine Nicholson

Christine Nicholson

Christine is a Chartered Management Accountant with a Law degree who brings 25 years of wisdom, know-how, and experience of working with SME’s. Her long and varied career has included working overseas, rescuing technology companies, building a healthcare business from scratch and running a zoo.

She started her first successful multi-million turnover business in 2002 and has grown business ventures for others including a bankruptcy to 8-figure exit in 18 months. Christine’s engagement consistently gets her clients increasing their turnover with improved profitability and fewer working hours.

She has saved clients thousands and increased the value of their businesses by millions. Since 2008 she has generated over £100m of crystallised value in business exits.

Christine is also an author of 3 books on Finance, Business Management and Technology businesses. She is a seasoned speaker and Professionally Accredited Member of the Association of Business Mentors.