–SINCE 1982–

Colorado Exit Planning Strategies & Advisors

Deciding that it’s time to exit a business is one of the most significant decisions a business owner can make. A crucial part of preparing to sell a business is understanding the reasons why you want to exit and choosing the exit strategy that best supports those reasons. Exit strategies serve several business and personal goals, such as:

  • Raising capital to fund new business ventures
  • Facilitating strategic moves
  • Reacting to market changes or economic conditions
  • Retirement
People signing legal documents in an office

Planning the right exit strategy is crucial no matter your business or personal goals. In this article, we’ll delve into the various exit strategies available in order to help business owners make the best choice for :

Choosing The Right Business Exit Plan

1. Selling to a Strategic Buyer

Purchasing rival companies in the same industry is a common strategy to increase market share, acquire new skills or technology, or streamline operations, Some of other goals. In the tech industry, for example, where talented workers are extremely valued, the “acquihire”—when a company is bought for its talent—is a widespread practice.

Some major benefits of looking for a strategic buyer for your company are:

  • Potential higher sale price due to strategic synergies
  • Quicker exit process
  • Continuity of the business, often with improved resources for growth

While selling to a strategic buyer, the following factors should be taken into account:

  • Integration challenges between the two companies
  • Employees who stay on may face changes in their roles or work environment
  • Possible changes in company operations and culture


2. Selling to a Financial Buyer

Selling the company to a private equity firm or individual investor that sees the company as a profitable investment is an additional exit plan option. This frequently results in increased investment into new technology, expanding markets, and improving operational efficiency. For business owners who care deeply about their company’s growth and legacy, selling to a financial buyer ensures that the business will be positioned for long-term success.

Some of the key benefits of looking for a financial buyer for your company are:

  • An immediate exit with a lump sum payment
  • Financial buyers often have the resources to further grow the business
  • Better flexibility in terms of deal structure

When selling to a financial buyer, some crucial factors to take into account are:

  • Prioritizing short-term financial success could alter the company’s strategic course
  • Possible changes in management practices
  • May involve taking on more debt to finance the purchase

3. Merging with Another Business

Merging with another business involves combining your company with another to form a new, larger organization. This seeks to combine the assets and capabilities of both businesses to produce a more resourceful and competitive firm. Mergers are frequently sought to increase operational effectiveness, develop strategic synergies, and expand market reach.

Some of the main benefits that mergers provide to company owners are:

  • Can create a more resourceful and competitive entity
  • Shared risk and resources can lead to greater growth opportunities
  • Synergies can improve efficiencies and profitability

When considering a merger, a few crucial factors to take into account:

  • Integration with another company can be complex and time-consuming
  • Potential for culture clashes between merging entities
  • Requires alignment of goals and strategies between the merging companies


4. Passing the Business on to Family Members

Passing the business on to family members is a common exit strategy for family-owned businesses that wish to maintain the family legacy and ensure continuity. The process generally involves selling or gifting the business to family members, and requires careful planning to prepare successors, address family dynamics, and manage the legal and financial complexities of this type of exit strategy.

Some major benefits of transferring ownership to family members are:

  • Maintains family legacy and continuity
  • Familiar leadership can ensure a smooth transition
  • Keeps control within the family

When transferring the company to family members, some crucial factors to take into account are:

  • Family dynamics can complicate the transition process
  • Successor may lack the capability or interest to run the business effectively
  • Can create tensions Some of family members not involved in the business if not handled properly


5. Management and Employee Buyouts (MBO/ESOP)

Management buyouts (MBO) and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) involve selling the business to its existing management team or employees.

  • In an MBO, the company is acquired by its current managers, often with the assistance of outside funding.
  • An ESOP, on the other hand, is a trust fund established to purchase the business. This allows employees to gain ownership over time by making contributions to the plan.

Some of the main benefits of ESOPs and MBOs are:

  • Ensures continuity of business operations
  • Management and employees are already familiar with the company
  • Can improve employee motivation and retention

Important MBO and ESOP considerations include:

  • Financing the buyout can be challenging
  • Requires capable leadership from within the team
  • Complex setup and ongoing administrative costs, especially for ESOPs


6. IPO (Initial Public Offering)

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) involves offering shares of a privately-owned company to the public for the first time by listing on a stock exchange. Commonly referred to as “going public”, the business becomes publicly-traded, allowing it to raise capital from a broad range of investors. This transition entails stringent regulatory requirements and increased transparency.

Some of the key benefits of an IPO are:

  • Can raise significant capital for the company
  • Increases the company’s visibility and prestige
  • Provides liquidity for the owners

When considering an IPO, a few crucial factors to take into account are:

  • Expensive and time-consuming process
  • Involves ongoing regulatory requirements and public scrutiny
  • Market conditions can impact the success of the IPO


7. Liquidation

Liquidation involves closing the business and selling of its assets to pay off liabilities, distributing any remaining funds to the owners or shareholders. Liquidation may be a viable exit strategy for business owners seeking a quick and definitive exit from a business that is no longer profitable, or when the owner wishes to cease operations without transferring ownership.

Some of the key advantages of liquidation are:

  • Quick and straightforward process
  • Provides immediate cash flow to the owner
  • Ends all business liabilities and responsibilities

When contemplating liquidation, some important considerations to keep in mind are:

  • Typically yields the lowest return on investment
  • Can negatively impact employees and customers
  • Might not be an option if the business has significant debts or liabilities

Why You Should Use A Business Broker To Select The Exit Strategy for Your Colorado Business

As Colorado’s premier business broker, The FBB Group is well equipped to assist you throughout the entire business exit process. Our Strategic Sellability Plan can help secure a favorable exit by making your business more attractive to potential buyers. 

Our team of M&A experts bring a handful of assets to the table of any business sale or acquisition to assist both your business and personal goals:

  • Over 100 years of Combined Experience and Expertise
  • Assistance with Determining The Market Value of Your Business
  • Assistance in Identifying Ways to Further Grow Your Business Value for Sale
  • Access to a Large Network of Potential Buyers
  • Screening and Pre-Qualifying Prospective Buyers
  • Deal Structuring and Financing
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance Assurance
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Confidentiality
  • Objectivity and Professionalism
  • Increased Success Rate

To see how The FBB Group can assist in the sale or purchase of a Colorado business, give us a call today at our Denver (720 441 1425) or Colorado Springs (719 635 9000) office.