5 Exit Strategies Every Business Owner Should Know

Learn the difference between exiting the line, staff, org chart, board, or ownership, and find the right fit for your goals and preferences.

Entrepreneurship is a journey that often comes with a lot of ups and downs, but one of the most exciting moments is when you’re able to take your business to the next level.

This is what happened to one of our Founders Board members, Kimberly, who just accomplished a critical hire and a major upgrade to her company’s operating system. This milestone marked her official transition to CEO, and she’s now able to lead her company to even greater success.

For many entrepreneurs, the idea of exiting their business can be daunting. But, it’s important to understand the different types of “exits” available to you and which one aligns with your goals. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the five exit strategies that every entrepreneur should consider and how they can help you achieve your ideal exit.

Exit Strategy #1: Exit the Line

This exit occurs when you transition from worker to manager by hiring employees and managing them. Whether you’re a solo operator or a freelancer, it’s essential to have help and exit the line. As your business grows, you’ll need to delegate responsibilities, and hiring employees is the first step toward doing so. By hiring employees, you’ll be able to free up your time and focus on other aspects of your business, such as strategy and growth.

Exit Strategy #2: Exit the Staff

Kimberly achieved this exit by building a leadership team and putting a Scalable Operating System in place. This is when you become a true CEO, not just someone with the title. When you’re able to build a leadership team, you’ll be able to delegate responsibilities and focus on growing your business. A Scalable Operating System will help you manage your employees and keep your business running smoothly, even as it grows.

Exit Strategy #3: Exit the Org Chart

For some entrepreneurs who enjoy being hands-on, this exit involves stepping away from day-to-day operations but still remaining on the board. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who still want to be involved in their business but no longer want to be bogged down by the day-to-day operations. By remaining on the board, you’ll be able to provide guidance and make strategic decisions while your leadership team handles the day-to-day operations.

Exit Strategy #4: Exit the Board

This exit is for entrepreneurs who want to relinquish governance responsibilities and become an investor, receiving dividends and distributions. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who have built a successful business and are ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor. By exiting the board, you’ll be able to invest in other businesses and receive dividends and distributions from your investments.

Exit Strategy #5: Exit Ownership

This is the most commonly known exit, where you sell your business and exit ownership. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who are ready to move on to their next venture or simply want to retire. By selling your business, you’ll be able to cash in on your hard work and move on to your next adventure.

Which Exit Strategy is Right for You?

The Five Exits of The Entrepreneur

So, which of these exits do you want to take in the next 12 to 18 months? The answer will depend on your goals, your business, and your personal preferences. Our Founders Board program is designed to help seven-figure entrepreneurs scale to eight, hit their numbers, and achieve their ideal exit. You can learn more about Founders Board here.

Remember, owning your own business gives you the freedom to scale as much or as little as you want, but with the right support, you can achieve your ideal exit.

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