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Women and Business Book by Julie Keyes Shows Nine Ways to Make Sure a Business Is Properly Poised for Exit

·3 min read

MINNEAPOLIS, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Startling statistics: there are roughly 11 million baby boomers who currently own small businesses in the United States, and there is a coming tidal wave of business exits soon to occur. And according to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), women-owned firms account for 39% of all privately held firms. Only about one out of five have a written exit plan.

"Regardless of your age, gender, industry, or company size, you will eventually need to exit from your business," says business exit expert Julie Keyes. "How well you exit is largely dependent upon how well and early you plan."

Keyes is the author of the new book Poised for Exit: A Woman Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Transition (2020, www.indiebooksintl.com).

"Between 1997 and 2017, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 114%, as compared to a 44% increase among all businesses, according to research cited in my book," says Keyes. "That is a growth rate that is 2.5 times the national average."

Keyes' book draws upon extensive research, in-depth real client stories from women business owners who have exited and her own personal experience as a business owner who had to exit. After exiting a business, in 2010 Keyes got divorced, bought her own house, quit her job, and launched KeyeStrategies, a business consulting firm all within six months. She spent the next five years building the business, acquiring clients and helping them improve and grow their companies.

In 2015, she became a Certified Exit Planning Adviser (CEPA) through the Exit Planning Institute (EPI) and has grown her firm and her reputation as a leader in the exit-planning industry, both locally and nationally, as a sought-after consultant, speaker, and instructor.

According to EPI, 79% of small business owners have no written transition plan. Keyes recommends the following nine ways to make sure a business is properly poised for exit:

  1. Determine whether you have a company too dependent on you and begin to delegate and shift authority. Who can you delegate to?

  2. Examine your customers or clients list. Are there any who represent more than 20 percent of your business?

  3. Study who you are dependent on. Are you overly dependent on any one vendor, supplier, or employee? What could happen if you lose them?

  4. Retain your key employees—or someone else will. Have you had a conversation about the future with your key employees?

  5. Check your sales and marketing plans. Is it well-planned or shooting from the hip?

  6. Take a hard look at your profit margin. Is it time to raise prices? Where is the wasted money?

  7. Perform a cash flow analysis. Do you have a budget and a forecast?

  8. Survey your employees about your company culture and values. How well do they know them?

  9. Check your brand reflection in the mirror. A strong brand builds enterprise value. How is your brand?

"For women, it's especially difficult making the decision to exit," says Keyes. "That's because women tend to put others' needs before their own, so planning a successful exit goes against how women are wired as nurturing people. As a woman business owner, you may have deep concerns over the welfare of your staff after you leave. You may also be worried about the financial pressure of making the leap to sell your company. It will probably be the biggest financial transaction of your life and you basically have one shot at doing it right."

About Indie Books International
Indie Books International (www.indiebooksintl.com) was founded in 2014 in Oceanside, California by two best-selling business authors. Since then the company has released more than 150 titles. Similar to indie film companies and indie music labels, the mission of Indie Books International is to serve as an independent publishing alternative for business thought leaders.

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SOURCE Julie Keyes