Be Prepared! Because “Startups get bought, not sold”

The recent article by Ken Elefant, of Intel Capital, titled, “Startups get bought, not sold“, emphasized the obvious fact that your exit will most likely be by acquisition. Key to accomplishing this, in my opinion, is to consciously and vigorously prepare for your exit and not leave it to hope or chance. Doing so means that your exit strategy is an integral part of your company’s overall strategic plan. That’s not a big surprise – right? It also means that just as each part of your detailed business action plan is imagined, devised and implemented, the exit action plan is likewise prepared and acted upon with the same degree of intensity and thoroughness.

Yet this part of your business plan requires not only vision but lots of detailed specifics. Take the tack that you prepare as if you were going to buy your own company. Let’s focus just on the due diligence phase for the moment. What do you want to know about the company?  Everything – right? What information do you want to see from the company? All of it – right? So with just these high level thoughts on due diligence in mind, what do you do to prepare, how do you do it, and who will do it and maintain it in a ready-to-go state. Sure your team is part of the answer, but better to have experienced help to make it easier on you and your team. And if I am one of your investors, like Ken Elefant, I want your energies focused on making your company successful so you will indeed be bought and not sold. It’s very simple – Be Prepared!

About Jack Warnock

Jack Warnock is an M&A pro and a consigliere to CEOs who are exiting their businesses. He will ensure that the outcome is optimal, the best value is achieved, and the transition is smooth, all while you and your team continue to effectively do your day job. Jack is a trusted resource with proven knowledge about how companies work; how ownership changes; how to buy businesses; how companies are sold; and how owners win.

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