Note: The article has a good overview of some potential exit strategies. Here’s one, follow the link below to see the rest.
Selling to a Friendly Buyer. If my neighborhood piano bar owner had asked, we might have wanted to buy the business ourselves. You see, if you’ve become emotionally attached to what you’ve built, even easier than liquidating your business is the option of passing ownership to another true believer who will preserve your legacy. Interested parties might include customers, employees, children or other family members.
The fictional Willy Wonka handed off his chocolate empire to a little boy who was a loyal Wonka customer, someone who was chosen with great care through a selection process designed to weed out all but the most dedicated Wonka devotees. Wonka was able to choose his heir apparent and ride off into the sunset a happier entrepreneur.
Of course, the buyer needn’t come from outside. You can also sell your business to current employees or managers. Often in this kind of sale, the seller finances the sale and lets the buyer pay it off over time. A hair stylist I knew learned a local salon owner was shutting his doors and decided to propose a low-money-down deal to acquire the salon. The owner still makes more this way than he would by closing, and the stylist gets to earn his way into owning a business. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
The purest friendly buyout occurs when the business is passed down to the family. But remember, the key to “family business” is the word “family.” Is yours functional? No sooner than you leave the family business to the kids, it’s likely they’ll end up fighting over who got the larger share, who does or doesn’t deserve the ownership they got, and who gets the final word. They’ll finger-point for a decade while the business slowly declines into ruin, then blame you for not leaving clearer instructions. If you decide to go this route, you’ve got a lot of planning to do before getting out.
Read the rest of the article at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/78512.