It doesn’t matter if you are looking to sell now or fifty years from now – every business owner should have an exit plan. While there are many things you could do, there only a handful of things you should do. Creating an exit plan helps you focus on the should rather than the could. In the process we will work together to identify the risks and opportunities that can be leveraged to increase the value of your business over time.
01. Set Goals
Your first 30-minute exit planning consultation call is free, with no strings attached. You will explore various exit scenarios and your advisor will seek to understand the bigger picture of what you are trying to achieve. By the end of the call, you will have a boiled down list of simple, reachable goals including; the type of exit, sales structure, sales price, exit date, deal terms, and the buyer profiles most likely to acquire (or merge with) you. These goals are revisited and often tweaked as we progress through the development of your exit plan.
After signing a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) one of our Senior M&A Advisors will request additional information about your business by sending you a customized Q&A doc and Profit & Loss Statement. If available, we will also request ‘view only’ Google Analytics access. We use this information along with our internal research and comparable sales data to determine the current market value of your online business within 1-2 business days. The report will detail the factors that influence your business’ value and establish how close (or far away) you are from reaching your exit goal.
03. Choose Your Plan
You have three options: (1) Build Your Own – read our exit planning eBook to build and execute your own plan. (2) Snapshot – receive a 2-page exit plan with your current valuation and action items. The snapshot is free when you grant Dealflow first right of refusal to represent your business if you decide to sell in the future. (3) Exit Plan – receive our full 20-page exit plan and work with a Senior M&A Advisor who will coach you through the implementation of your plan. The Exit Plan report costs $3.5k – $5k and exit coaching is $600/monthly.
04. Audit Your Business
If you decide to work with us to create a full Exit Plan, we will audit every aspect of your business from customer acquisition channels, to technology stack, bookkeeping, operations, external markets and industry trends. We analyze over a hundred factors that influence the value of your online business to identify which ones have the greatest impact. We call these value drivers. Value drivers represent the risks that can be reduced or eliminated and the opportunities that can be capitalized or expanded on.
05. Action Items
First, you will collaborate with your Exit Coach to create a list of action items that will cultivate each value driver identified in the audit phase. Each action item will then be ranked and prioritized by measuring effort vs. impact. Effort means the investment of time and resources required to successfully execute an action item. Impact means the material increase in business’ value you can expect to achieve by executing an action item. In almost every case, there will be low-hanging fruit, which can be ‘plucked’ to increase the value of your business quickly.
Your Exit Coach will build a virtual roadmap to help you visualize the path to a successful exit. The roadmap is a set of micro-targets, key milestones, and performance metrics used to track the progress of your exit plan. The original goals we created during your initial exit planning consultation will serve as the foundation. However, you will now have a comprehensive understanding of what is required to reach your desired exit goals and may wish to make some adjustments. Our exit plans are built to be agile and adaptable to the ever-changing landscape web entrepreneurs operate in.
07. Exit Coaching
Just like any plan, it’s useless if you don’t execute. We have found that the clients who have access to a mentor or coach achieve better results in a shorter amount of time. Whether it’s a friend, business partner, investor, or a Dealflow Exit Coach, it’s helpful to have someone to hold you accountable to your goals and act as a sounding board as you navigate your way through your exit plan. Our Exit Coaches will review your progress every month, re-value your business as it hits key milestones, and help you adjust targets and action items as necessary.
08. Exit on a High-Note
Plans can change at the drop of a hat. You may need cash to fund your skyrocketing startup, or a competitor might tap you on the shoulder and offer a deal you can’t refuse. No matter the circumstances, your Exit Plan will ensure you are focusing on value-increasing initiatives that put your business in the strongest possible position when the time comes to sell. Dozens of entrepreneurs, tech companies, and investors join our network each day, so it’s not unusual for our clients to achieve an early exit when their business matches the criteria of a buyer in our network. Whether you exit early, on time, or a little later than expected, the Dealflow team is invested in exit on a high-note.