Why You Need An Exit Plan - How to Protect Your Blind Side

exit strategy

Written By: Mike Hall

One of the most beloved sports-related movies of recent years is the movie The Blind Side. The movie tells the story of Michael Oher, a homeless kid in Memphis, who gets adopted by a wealthy family and goes on to become one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL.

Fascinatingly, the movie begins with the story of Joe Theisman’s famous injury at the hands of huge linebacker Lawrence Taylor. This plot device was used to set the stage for the importance of offensive tackles like Michael Oher whose main task is to protect the Quarterback from getting sacked on his blind side. The offensive tackle is the insurance policy to make sure that the quarterback can do his job without the fear of some unexpected interference.

If you are a business owner, you are the quarterback of your enterprise. There is no one who can do what you do. You call the plays and your employees execute your instructions. Unfortunately, there is any number of life circumstances (health, the economy, aging parents, etc.) that loom large like massive linebackers waiting to create problems for you and your business. Thankfully you can keep these unforeseen circumstances at bay by having a comprehensive business exit plan.

When business owners hear the term exit plan or exit strategy, it often conjures up ideas that are not always based in reality. Some common business exit plan objections include:

  • I’m not planning to sell my business anytime soon, so I don’t need an exit plan – This is probably one of the most common excuses that many business owners retreat to. One study found that a whopping 79% do not have a written exit plan for their business. This same report stated that 16% of business owners had no time frame in mind for how long they want to stay in their business and a full 7% plan to never exit their business. That 7% must be planning to run their businesses from the grave (Doran, 2021). The truth of the matter is that any number of unforeseen circumstances could interrupt your business at any time so to put off having an exit plan is risky at best and irresponsible at worst.

  • I would get a business exit plan but it's expensive and time-consuming – This objection is wrong on both accounts. Formulating and recording a business exit plan doesn’t have to take up much of your time and should cost you nothing. A reputable business exit expert, such as a business broker, can meet with you, ask good questions, gather information, and put together a plan based on the current state of your business and your future goals. The best part of all is that they can do this all free of charge. They earn their money in commission when the time comes for you to sell. The upfront work they do for you is a means of establishing a professional relationship and earning your trust.


  • I don’t need an exit plan, I’m just going to leave my business to my children – Many business owners are passionate about their businesses, just as they should be. Unfortunately, the statistics show that their children are not nearly as passionate as they are. According to one study, only 10% to 30% of business owners actually transfer their businesses to their children (Bransford, 2021). In an ideal world, business owners will find their children eager and excited to take over the reins of the family business. In the real world, however, business owners can't base the future of their business on hope because hope is not a strategy.


  • I don’t want to meet with a business exit expert because they are just trying to get me to sell my business – It’s a major reason why they get into this line of work to begin with. Smart business brokers, however, are not short-sighted. They know that eventually, the majority of business owners will need their help selling at some point. They also know that the key to their success rests in their ability to forge long-term relationships that are beneficial not just to themselves but to the business owners they serve and the extended contacts of those business owners.

With these objections out of the way, it’s important to understand how having a business plan ensures the future of your business in regard to your employees, your enterprise, and your customers. Dave Ramsey often makes the point that families and individuals who get out of debt and build wealth are “weird”. In that regard, it’s time for you to be a weird business owner and do something that the majority are not doing.

Consider the fact that 58% of business owners have never had their business valued by a competent professional, and a full 37% have no plan for shielding the monies made from selling their business (Guta, 2021). A sound business exit plan will let you know what your business is worth, what you need to do to accomplish the financial goals you have for your business, and how to protect the wealth that you gain when you pass the reins to the next owner.

Don’t let misinformation distract you from keeping your eye on the ball. Reach out to a competent business exit expert today so that you are prepared when life circumstances and other distractions try to get you on your blindside.


Works Cited


Doran, D. (2021, October 14). 8 consequences of not having a sound business exit plan. Value Scout - Exit Planning 2.0. Retrieved May 23, 2022.

Bransford, D. (2021, April 20). 10 reasons why your kids probably won't take over the family business. Thomasnet® - Product Sourcing and Supplier Discovery Platform - Find North American Manufacturers, Suppliers and Industrial Companies. Retrieved May 23, 2022.

Guta, M. (2021, March 12). 48% of business owners who want to sell have no exit strategy. Small Business Trends. Retrieved May 23, 2022.