The Exit Timeline. Your Runway to Business Sale Success

At AcquisitionHub we meet with people every week who are exploring the option of selling their business.

One of the patterns we’ve seen is thinking a sale can happen sooner than is actually possible.

From the 100+ companies we’ve evaluated since July last year, 99 of them would benefit from an exit planning process. Something that needed to be started long before they got in touch with us.

Let me break it down for you.

Starting the planning and preparation process isn’t about listing your business for sale.

Timing your exit is largely outside of your control. You can set an arbitrary timeline for 1,2,3 years out, but it is extremely hard to line all this up with finding the right buyer and have them actually buy your business.

But that does not mean planning should be discarded. On the contrary.

Planning a few years out of your exit target date allows ample time to:
Below we’ve put together a timeline broken into stages

Exit In Mind

Learning About the M&A Process
Thinking about a Future Sale
3-5 Years Out

Exit Planning

Internal & Personal Conversations
Personal Wealth Planning
Clean Financials
3 Years Out

Exit Preparation

Hire an M&A Advisor
Get a Valuation
Quality of Earnings
15-18 Months Out

Exit Launch

Building a Buyers List
Distributing High Level Information to Buyers
Initial Conversations with Buyers
9-12 Months Out

Executed LOI

Execute an LOI with a Single Buyer
Engage in Due Diligence Process
3-6 Months Out

To help you evaluate your business in the context of selling it, we’ve created some tools for each stage of the business exit timeline. Successful exits involve a staged approach and so we designed these tools to meet Owners where they are on this exit timeline. 

With 4 out of every 5 businesses that are listed failing to sell we think preparation is the most important component Owners get right so you can launch your deal with a greater probability of success than 80% of the market.   

Is your Business Exit Ready?

Find out in 5 minutes with our Exit Value Scorecard.