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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Ownership Lifecycle and your exit strategy

The fact is - that you are going to exit your business for good one day.

You can choose how you do that:

  • Head high, because you have chosen the date and the next owners carefully;

  • Head low, because external circumstances have forced you to abandon ship;

  • In a box, because you slumped over your last patient.

Apologies for the stark last choice but I do see people working themselves into a frazzle and it worries me.

It was Michael Gerber who suggested that:

  • The purpose of a business is to solve someone's problem;

  • The objective of a business is to make a profit and

  • The destiny of a business is to be sold.

It can be difficult to think about that when you are younger and full of vim and vigour but I can confirm from personal experience that, as you get older, these matters take on more significance.

I facilitated a conversation with my clients on the subject of exit strategy a few week ago and drew up the infographic attached below to illustrate my point (you can download a copy at the end of this post).

There is a life cycle of ownership that depends upon the extent of your imagination:

  1. Buy a practice and/or open a squat;

  2. Maximise the productivity and profitability of the existing facility;

  3. Expand the existing facility;

  4. Build a self-managing team in the existing facility;

  5. Buy more practices and/or open new squats.

From 2. onwards you can "stick" or "twist" - much like a game of Pontoon.

However, ultimately there has to be an exit strategy - the only options are a planned exit or an exit forced upon you.

Which would you prefer?

Don't bury your head in the sand - whoever you are, whatever age, wherever you are on the lifecycle (even pre-ownership) the time to start planning your exit is NOW.

The Ownership Lifecycle
Download PDF • 119KB

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