“The minute you open your doors, the minute you start selling something, you should be thinking, ‘how do I exit?’ regardless of if you ever want to exit,” explains Lori Murphree, founder and managing partner at Evalla Advisors. She has 20 years of experience working in mergers and acquisitions and over 15 years focused on marketing services, digital media, and e-Commerce. Today, Lori joins host Kiley Peters to talk about what entrepreneurs need to know about merging and acquiring businesses.
Even if you do not think you ever want to exit your business, you should be thinking about an exit strategy from the beginning. Regardless of whether you end up selling, when you start off thinking this way, your business will end up growing more than it would have if you did not consider an exit strategy. The businesses that can prove growth each year and differentiate themselves from similar businesses are the ones that will be the easiest to sell when the time comes.
Whether you think you will sell your business in the future or not, it is never too soon to start preparing. From the moment you start your business, you should be thinking about your exit strategy. By focusing on features that will make your business more marketable in terms of a possible future merger or acquisition, you will have a stronger, more successful business.
“The minute you open your doors, the minute you start selling something, you should be thinking, ‘how do I exit?’ regardless of if you ever want to exit.” (5:16-5:24 | Lori)
“If they don't see that you've ever grown, or that you've grown the first couple of years and you were flat the whole time after. Even if you have a great business, it makes it harder to sell.” (6:34-6:46 | Lori)
“Talk to advisors ahead of time. Don't say, I'm not ready, I'm gonna talk to you when I'm ready. Talk to them ahead of time, because they will start giving you advice. But also talk to wealth advisors, because wealth advisors will set up an attack area that allows you to sell your business and not have 50% of it go to the government.” (8:27-8:48 | Lori)