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Business Exit Planning : Penny Spencer gives her business it's own wings.

Penny still gained substantial personal enjoyment from being involved in the day-to-day business. Based on her observations of other business owners, Penny was aware that at some stage in the future she was likely to want more flexibility and choice around how and when she works.

Background

Spencer Travel provides inbound and outbound travel services to businesses and private individuals. It is a highly successful business with a multi-million dollar turnover. Penny Spencer, owner and founder, has been able to keep the business viable even while the Australian travel industry has been dramatically impacted by world events.

The challenge

Penny still gained substantial personal enjoyment from being involved in the day-to-day business. Based on her observations of other business owners, Penny was aware that at some stage in the future she was likely to want more flexibility and choice around how and when she works. Penny wasn't sure whether she would be interested in selling the business to an investor, grooming a successor or arranging a management buy-out.

Decision to act

Penny was clear that if she was to have choice and flexibility in the future she needed to start putting changes into motion now. Penny needed a Personal Exit Plan.

"The motivation to start this process was work/life balance. I wanted to plan ahead so that I was clear on my future path with the business and with my own life balance."

"I used an external consultant as they are the experts, I didn't know where to start on the Exit Plan and needed some expert guidance . I had already been on EWO's website and enjoyed what I read and it sparked my interest by doing the reality check questionnaire. " says Penny.

Process

We conducted a series of workshops covering topics such as: Business Goals, Reasons for Being in Business, Life After Business and System Independence. These workshops were run as 2-hour sessions at the clients premises. A business valuation was also completed.

The approach we took was selected for a number of reasons including:

  • It considered the goal of "exiting" from a variety of perspectives including personal/emotional, financial and operational
  • It was simple and minimised the impact on Penny's time
  • The outcomes were recorded in a written plan, providing a reference document for the future
  • It was cost efficient and time efficient

At the completion of the process Penny was provided with a plan that outlined Penny's personal goals for the business, strengths of the business and barriers to success and tactics for achieving the business goals.

Outcomes

As a result of completing the process Penny now has a clear fix on;

  • What she wants to achieve with the business in the medium to long term
  • The role the business is going to play in her life over the next 5 to 10 years and what needs to happen to ensure business remains a satisfying and fulfilling experience
  • Changes that need to be made in the business and a timeline for implementing those changes
  • The current value of her business and what needs to be done to increase that value
  • Factors that may inhibit her ability to exit the business and what she can be doing now to improve her chances of a successful exit

A number of key change initiatives were also identified which will improve business independence and increase the value of the business. There is also a strategy in place for the continued growth of the business.

"The process was more than worthwhile - it has given me a very clear path and action plans to work towards. Not only do I feel excited about it but it is also great to have outsiders look at your business and give their opinions - a Must for every business owner!" Penny says.

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