Since I lead a group of top notch trusted advisors, I hear quite a bit about exit plans gone awry. Unfortunately, most business owners do not plan to exit the business far enough in advance. Of course, you can still exit; however, you will not get as strong a multiple for your sales price. On the other hand, I was fortunate to hear one of the rare stories of a business owner who achieved a wildly successful exit where he received double the industry norm.
He started planning for his exit 15 years ahead of time. Of course, this was one of the keys to success. Far more can be accomplished with this sort of lead time — and, as a side benefit, being ready and/or waiting for the "right" timing isn't such a big deal in this case. He put together a plan and stuck with it. Not rocket science but wildly successful. He also paid top dollar for the best people — both employees and advisors. Have you taken stock on your exit plans (whether from the business, for your career etc.)?
One tip to implement this week:
As it apparent by reviewing this successful case study, it isn't something that will be done in a week — or a year. However, you can get started this week. His first step was to figure out his end goal. Set aside time to determine your end goal for your company, your department, your career or whatever you'd like to address. Gain feedback from your trusted advisors and sources but think about YOUR goal — not someone else's goal.
Next start thinking about the plan. His plan was not overly complex. He picked a FEW strategies to accomplish his exit plan. You can do the same — and you might be surprised as to what can be accomplished in a week. Your plan will take longer than a week but if you figure out your goal, there is no reason to wait. Get a jump on the next step.