Business Exit Strategy Advisors I Hilton Smythe

Business Exit Planning

Thinking about a business exit? Hilton Smythe’s exit planning service helps you assess your exit readiness, build your company’s competitive strengths and design an exit strategy that will maximise your sale multiples.

Exit Strategy Review

What is Exit Planning?

Exit planning is the process that all business owners must undertake when preparing to exit their business ventures. An exit might take many forms – from an MBO, a trade or private equity sale, to family business succession planning, an employee ownership trust, or even listing on a stock exchange via an IPO (initial public offering).

A well-thought-out exit plan is vital for creating and managing expectations regarding your ideal exit multiple, your company legacy and the competitive landscape surrounding your business.

Without an exit plan, business owners’ risk:

  • Being unable to articulate the key value drivers of their business to prospective purchasers.
  • Creating a business that is over-dependent on the existing shareholders by underinvesting in talent and management.
  • Neglecting long-term scalable growth.
  • Not understanding the competitive landscape surrounding the business and the KPIs within your industry.

Preparing 3-5 years in advance will allow owners to strengthen their management team, remove bottlenecks to growth, eliminate operational inefficiencies, and clean up their financials.



What is the Exit Plan process?

  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.

How can Hilton Smythe help?

With decades of collective experience in SME business sales and M&A strategy, our team is well-equipped to work with you on a comprehensive exit plan review.

Our review will:

  • Determine your financial and business objectives: We will look at your personal financial aspirations, as well as the legacy you seek to leave for employees, customers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Conduct a thorough analysis of the business: We will look at your business’ key value drivers, the competitive landscape and market, and relevant transaction data.
  • Develop a business strategy that positions your business as a desirable acquisition target: We will work with you to identify key value drivers, whether it be creating repeatable processes, driving revenue growth through diversification and marketing, increasing recurring revenue mix, or reducing unnecessary expenditures.
  • Perform a financial analysis and valuation opinion: We will use standard performance indicators and our market knowledge to draw up a comprehensive business valuation.

Hilton Smythe are here to help businesses Buy, Sell and Grow.

Different types of exit strategies

Trade sale: Selling your business to another company, usually operating within 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 to help the new owners achieve stability.

Private equity investment: Selling in part or in full to an investor who is looking to make a financial return. Private equity companies will invest in high-growth, high-turnover businesses with the aim of accelerating growth before cashing out for maximum gain.

Management buyout (MBO): Selling your business to your management team. This can be a good option if you want to ensure the continuity of your company’s culture and mission.

Family succession planning: Selling or transferring your business to the next generation of your family. This is often planned and agreed years in advance.

Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP): Selling your business to your employees through an ESOP. This can be a tax-efficient option and can help to motivate and retain employees.


Ready to maximise your final sale value and achieve your desired exit? Contact Hilton Smythe today!

Other types of Selling Services
Employee Ownership Trusts

Looking for a tax-efficient business exit strategy that also empowers your employees? Looking to pass on the reins to your management team? Hilton Smythe are here to act as your advisors and guide you through what can be a delicate process.

Sales Advisory

Ready to leave your business venture? Our director-led approach to sales advisory, helps maximise and protects shareholder value by managing the entire transaction lifecycle – from exit planning, valuation and sell-side due diligence through to marketing, buyer research, deal structuring and negotiation.

Business Valuation Report

Need clear, unbiased insights into your company’s true value? Our expert valuations team combines proven valuation methods and deep market knowledge to deliver accurate assessments for purposes including exit planning, business sales, management buyouts, tax optimization and expert evidence such as for divorce cases or shareholder disputes.

The Hub

Business Insights

5 Post-Merger Integration Strategies for SMEs

Hilton Smythe explores 5 strategies for a successful SME post-merger integration.

Business Insights

What Islamic Sharia-compliant business finance is available in the UK?

Hilton Smythe explores the landscape for Islamic business finance in the UK, from challenger banks like Al Rayan through to P2P and equity crowdfunding disruptors like Qardus and Nester.

Business Insights

6 Mistakes Sellers Make During the Mergers and Acquisition Process

From avoiding overinflated price tags, through to negotiating unfavourable terms in the LOI and Purchase Agreement, here are 6 mistakes sellers make during the M&A process.