Lack of exit strategy threatening SME owners’ retirement

One advisory firm has noted that despite the potential riches that await the record number of Australian SMEs expected to sell over the coming decade, 75 per cent of these businesses are yet to implement an exit strategy to shore up their sales price.

“Not using an exit strategy for a business sale is like going to auction with a run down and messy house, or without marketing or advertising – you’re guaranteed a significantly lower price,” said Koos Kruger, CEO of business advisory firm Business Companion.

“Working with hundreds of Australian SME owners over the years, I’ve seen first-hand the difference even the most simple of exit strategies can make in ensuring a comfortable and prosperous retirement from the sale of the business alone.”

Mr Kruger referred to recent research conducted by Value Builder System, which revealed that 88 per cent of business owners who are over 60 years old do not receive a proactive investor offer for their business.

The survey also indicated that Australian SMEs significantly underachieve on sales prices when compared with their UK and US counterparts.

“The concept of exit planning is not as widespread in Australia as it appears to be in other areas of the world,” Mr Kruger said.

“Combined with ongoing stock market volatility heavily impacting Australian super funds, an exit strategy could be the difference between a comfortable retirement for these 1.4 million Australians – or struggling just to make ends meet.”