This is the first blog in a series that focuses on the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook”. The book was written by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.
Jerry Mills published “The Exit Strategy Handbook” because there is a literal tsunami of small business sale transactions coming over the next decade. Millions of small business owners will be transitioning out of their life’s work and looking for someone to carry on what they have built. The success of this transition will impact a large portion of the employees in this country and it will significantly impact the lifestyle of the sellers.
Business owners have a number of options as they exit their businesses. Mills lays out the following big four in “The Exit Strategy Handbook”:
- Work in the business until you die
- Semi-retire and let someone else run the business until you die
- Liquidate the assets of the business, either voluntarily or involuntarily
- Sell the business 
The first option leaves the responsibility of the business on the owner’s heirs who may face many of the same decisions that this series will explore.
The second option can result in a complete transition of the ownership to a manager or no transition, which will leave the heirs and manager to deal with the transfer of the business. If the manager acquires the business, the manager will need sufficient resources to pay the owner or heirs for the company.
Liquidation, the third option, is usually the least desired outcome, but is a real possibility if the owner cannot carry on the business and has made no provision for a transition. Heirs may find that without the owner’s leadership and market skills, they have little to sell.
Our focus in this blog series will be on selling the small business. We will deal with a wide range of topics including valuing the company, improving the value of the company, who should serve on your Success Team™, and what will buyers want to know about during the sale process. We will step through areas of due diligence drawing from Mills’ book and my own experience in over a dozen transactions.
B2B CFO® has over 200 experienced chief financial officers who have a deep knowledge of transactions and business improvement that can be tapped to help you sell your business. You can explore the backgrounds of our team at www.B2BCFO.com/index.php?page=cfo-directory .
 Mills, Jerry (2013). The Exit Strategy Handbook. ISBN 978-0-09886932-1-0, Jerry L. Mills and B2B CFO, LLC., pp. 11-12.