When and how to exit your business: a strategic guide

19 June 2023

Starting a business is an exhilarating journey that requires dedication, passion, and perseverance. However, there may come a time when an entrepreneur must consider exiting their business.

Whether it’s due to personal circumstances, shifting market dynamics, or a desire to pursue new opportunities, knowing when and how to exit your business is crucial.

How do you recognise when and how, to exit?

Without doubt, exiting a business should be a deliberate and well-thought-out process. Here are some indicators that it might be the right time to consider an exit strategy:

Personal and financial goals

If you’ve achieved the goals you initially set out for your business, such as financial stability or personal fulfilment, it may be a good time to exit. Re-evaluating your long-term objectives will help determine whether it aligns with your current business trajectory.

Market Conditions

External factors like changes in consumer preferences, new competitors, or economic downturns can significantly impact your business’s viability. If the market dynamics are shifting unfavourably and you find it challenging to adapt, it might be wise to consider an exit strategy.

Burnout and Loss of Passion

Running a business can be demanding and can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. If you no longer feel passionate about your venture or experience burnout despite efforts to rekindle your enthusiasm, it could be a sign that it’s time to move on.

Once you’ve determined that exiting your business is the right decision, there are several exit strategies to consider. Here are a few:

Selling your business

Selling your business is a common exit strategy. Conduct a thorough valuation to determine its worth and identify potential buyers. Seek assistance from business brokers or professionals experienced in mergers and acquisitions to ensure a smooth transition and maximise the value of your business.

Passing it on

If you have a successor in mind, such as a family member or a key employee, you may consider transferring ownership. This option allows you to maintain the business within your trusted circle and potentially negotiate favourable terms. However, you should ensure that your successor is capable and prepared to take over the responsibilities.

Going Public

Taking your business public through an initial public offering (IPO) can be a lucrative exit strategy, particularly if your business has significant growth potential and attracts investor interest. However, going public involves meeting stringent regulatory requirements and can be complex and time-consuming, not to mention expensive.


In some cases, liquidating your business may be the most viable option. This involves selling off assets and paying off debts and obligations. While it may not yield the highest returns, it allows for a quick exit and closure of the business.

Knowing when and how to exit your business is an essential part of being an entrepreneur.  You should also include a plan for what you will do post-exit. Consider your personal and professional aspirations and plan your next venture or determine how you will allocate your time and resources post-exit. Seek opportunities for personal growth development. 

If you’d like to talk about your business’ exit strategy needs in more detail and would like to understand how we can help you prepare for exit, then contact us at hello@yellowyoyo.co.uk, call 01908 980 400 or leave a message here.