Guest post from Doug Osborne   --

Jack owned and operated a successful medium-sized wholesale business.  Here he employed 15 full-time and contract individuals, including a few family members.  Jack at age 60 was still actively involved in his business, but when an immediate family member was diagnosed with a serious illness, he decided to sell the business to focus on family priorities.   Now here's the thing:  Jack was a great business owner and had built his enterprise effectively, however he had never SOLD a business.  He assumed he'd sell eventually on his own terms and “when he was ready”.  But despite this, he WASN’T ready.

Every business existing today will be either sold, passed down, or dissolved.  More businesses are forecast to change hands in the next 10 years in Canada that ever before due to aging demographics of owners.  It is safe to assume that a good portion of the sale proceeds will be directed towards retirement.  It will be the organized ‘strategic’ sellers that will have a distinct advantage over the ‘unplanned’ sellers – not only their ability to sell, but also when they want to sell and the selling price they are satisfied with.

So ask yourself the following questions….

  1. Are you counting on the sale of your business to fund all or part of your retirement?
  2. What impact would an unplanned event (divorce, disability, death or family/partner dissent) have on your business, your life, or your estate TODAY?
  3. Is your business positioned for a lucrative exit?  If not, how much personal wealth are you putting as risk?
  4. Have you pre-thought your exit options and do you have strategies for at least three alternatives?  Are they reviewed annually or as needs change?
  5. Given the financial impact, is THIS the process you want to risk using a “do it yourself” approach?

And lastly,

6. How many times have you said “I really should get to that!”?

Most business owners have worked hard to build their business.  Please don’t make your last negotiation your worst!

Doug’s Unlimited Inc. is passionate about Business Efficiency, Performance and Success Execution. The company was established with a goal of “Simply, Empowering Great Business™” through simple, practical and visual business processes that enhance & improve business through more effective strategy execution. Their processes offer no-nonsense approaches that work because they are ‘simple, practical and visual’, and help ‘de-complicate’ & organize business for more focused, disciplined and sustainable strategy execution, leading to clearer direction, much better results – sustainable results – as well as enhanced performance and growth of your business.  The Mission of Doug’s Unlimited Inc., and Doug’s personal passion, has become to “Substantially improve the efficiency and success rate of business through Simple, Practical & Visual business processes”.   


  1. Thank you Doug and Brian. Great points to ponder.
    I believe one should consider Exit Strategies as soon as the business is up and running and earning profits. And the best way to consider these strategies is by consulting with a professional qualified to assist in the education of the various options available.

  2. A clear description of the issues – truly informative. Your website is very helpful.

Leave a comment