How to Sell Your Company -- And Not Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out Consider these three tips to develop an exit strategy for your business.
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For many entrepreneurs, the motivation to log long hours, take incredible risks and work for peanuts is, simply, the exit sign--the prospect of selling out and cashing in. One of the most common questions I was asked while building my company was, "What is your selling price?" It didn't matter what stage the company was at, what it was worth or what its potential was. I thought there'd be a day when I'd get an unsolicited envelope in the mail, freeing me from the stress and financial pressures of running a company. On top of that, I'd get to name the price. What a deal.
Related: The Value-Creation Equation
Nothing could be further from reality. Exits happen because acquirers open windows of opportunity. Like a real house, windows open from the inside. The notion that founders can force an exit is a bit like thinking they could walk up to a house, open a window and sit down with the owners without recourse. In most cases, exit windows come about because of the circumstances of the acquirer, not just the seller.