Business Exit Strategy Advisors I Hilton Smythe

Business Exit Strategy

Planning for the sale of any business should start well in advance. Businesses that successfully sell for the right amount of consideration plan at least three years ahead.

Exit Strategy Review

Your Review

We aim to assist in the planning process, by providing a critical review of the business, with the aim of steering strategic decisions to maximise shareholder value at sale.

The review is performed by experienced Consultants with keen M&A insights and many years of experience. The process will help you better understand:

  • How a buyer will view your business.
  • Developing and presenting growth strategies.
  • Valuation.
  • Preparing to go to market.

We provide an in depth report aimed at pinpointing areas of improvement and steering of strategy to maximise the results at sale. This service is performed on a fixed fee basis which is credited against any future M&A transaction fees.

This service will ensure the business is in optimal position for sale in the future. Any business owners considering an exit in the future, would benefit from our Exit Strategy Review as early on as possible.


  1. Workshop to define your objectives.
  2. Conduct a thorough analysis of the business.
  3. Analyse the industry and relevant transaction data.
  4. Consider any strategies that will improve value and saleability.
  5. Perform a financial analysis and valuation opinion.
  6. Provide guidance on preparing for sale.

As part of the process, we review key value drivers, competitors, the market generally and SWOT analysis. We will also provide prospective on the current M&A market, current value indication and recommendations covering key financial and legal factors.

Business Exit Strategy Advisers

If you are considering selling your business, we advise you to consider planning your business exit strategy between three and five years in advance. Whatever your reasons for selling, our experienced business exit strategy advisors will help you to develop your bespoke strategy suitable for your business and goals. We have supported business owners across many industries for many years to have a smooth exit transition.

When should I start planning my business exit strategy?

It’s never really too early to start planning your business exit strategy, but generally, planning 3 to 5 years in advance will put you in a good position. 

Early planning is the best way to ensure success, since leaving it too late may result in the buyer dictating the exit strategy terms. Many business owners actually choose to create their business exit strategies in the startup/growth phases.


Types of exit strategies for business owners

While there isn’t one approach to planning an exit strategy, there are many types of exit strategies for business owners. So what’s best for you will depend on your business and the outcome you’re aiming to achieve 

Common types of exit strategies include:

  • Trade Sale: Your business is purchased by another company which is usually from the same industry. In outright sales, you are rarely free to leave your business straight away, so expect some form of tie-in for a period of time to help the new owners achieve stability. 

  • Private Equity Investment: Your business shares, either their entirety or a portion, are purchased by a private equity company which will invest in the business to grow rapidly before selling it for maximum gain

  • Management Buy-Out/Buy-In: The current or new management team will purchase the company and take over responsibility for ownership and operations. 

  • Employee Ownership Trust: The company’s staff will purchase the business over a defined period of time, usually between 3-7 years. This rewards staff for their service, delivers tax efficient financial solutions for the former owner and makes it more affordable for the incoming management team. 

  • Share Sale: A single shareholder sells their shares to other shareholders or to the business. 

  • Ongoing Ownership: A business owner may choose to retain full or part ownership so the existing management team are responsible for operations, while providing advice or consultancy when required and drawing a dividend income from their shares. 

  • Family Business Succession Planning: Family-owned businesses are often passed down for generations so that the organisation isn’t sold to external buyers. This is often planned and agreed years in advance.

When do I need an exit strategy adviser?

You should ideally be speaking to an exit strategy advisor at least 3 – 5 years before you plan on exiting the business. However, it will put you in an even better position if you speak with an advisor in the early stages of your business, to help you understand its future goals and be more prepared.

Once you’re in contact with an advisor, they will help to develop a business plan that will clearly define your objectives and how to achieve them. 


How to choose the right exit strategy for your business

There are many different types of exit strategies for businesses, and they vary dependent on factors such as:

  • Business success levels
  • Takeover options
  • Fiscal circumstances

At Hilton Smythe, we take a critical look at your business, helping you to define what you are looking to achieve, what is driving you to exit your business and what needs to be done to make your exit feasible. 

We will support you and your management team in developing a business plan that will clearly define your objectives, while developing the business in the most appropriate manner for sale.

Other types of Consultancy Services
Acquisition Services

We have many years of collective Mergers & Acquisition expertise and a robust infrastructure of databases and experience to source domestic and international targets for our clients. We help buyers and sellers with advice and support throughout the M&A process.

Company Sale

With your dedicated experienced advisor and their support team together with our international reach, we really are best placed to assist in the sale of your company. Our experts are well versed in company sales and sell side advisory services.

Business Valuation Report

Our Business Valuation Report is a full report or detailed letter with an independent opinion of your business valuation, and assets. It is prepared by our team of expert business consultants, with many years of experience in the M&A market. 

The Hub

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Business partnerships present a golden opportunity to bring a wealth of extra resources and knowledge to the table. Planning an exit strategy for a partnership is critical to claim your portion of the proceeds and enable a smooth exit.

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