Exit Strategies

The issue of selling a business, often referred to as ‘harvesting the venture’, is one that many entrepreneurs consider at some point in their career. Some entrepreneurs constantly buy and sell businesses in order to make a profit along the way. Others will manage the venture for a long time and then sell their stake in the organisation in order to profit from their years of hard work and effort.


The way in which you exit the business can affect many things such as the value you and other shareholders realise from it, as well as the future success of its products or services. Therefore it is important to think seriously about how you intend to leave. A well-planned exit strategy allows potential investors to clearly understand how you intend to withdraw from the business. Moreover, it will help to define how the company will be marketed to potential buyers or investors, it will ensure that you get the most value out of your company and it will ensure you can end your involvement with the minimum amount of disruption to the business.


This unit discusses some of the factors that affect an entrepreneur’s decision to exit the business, as well as some of the exit strategy options available.. When the entrepreneur decides to exit or sell the venture, it is important that all structures and systems in the business are in control. This unit provides useful tips to help with this process. The unit then examines the key stages in the selling process and concludes with a brief discussion and practical tips on effective negotiation strategies.


Learning Objectives

When you have successfully completed this unit you will be able to:  

  • Determine the motivating factors that affect an entrepreneur’s decision to exit the venture.
  • Identify various options available to dispose of the business.
  • Discuss common factors that affect the disposal process.
  • Examine the stages in the selling process.
  • Provide some useful insights on negotiation techniques.


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Unit Elements

How to set up a company in your country

National case studies on Entrepreneurship






Ent-teach- Entrepreneurship Teaching - project code 2011-1-NL1-LEO05-05202. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission through the Leonardo da Vinci - Lifelong Learning Programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.