Are Your Exit Goals SMART?

When starting the exit planning process, you need to ask your what you want to happen next. You need to set goals that are suitable to you and make sense for the direction your company is going in.

Ask yourself:

  • Would you like to hand over the reins to a successor already in the business?
  • Who do you not want to sell your business to?
  • Is your business ready to expand?
  • How ready is your business for you to exit?


Understanding what you want and figuring out your end objectives will affect your exit strategy and the process you undertake. When you understand what you want, you need to make sure it is actionable. To be able to hit your targets you need to ensure that your exit goals are SMART. 


Know when you want to leave, whether it is two years, five years or ten years. Have a target date in mind and understand what you want to achieve by that point. 


Use quantitative data. Measure the progress of your exit to understand how close you are to achieving it, what you’ve done so far and ensure that your managers, advisors and employees know what you need to do next.


Your goals must be within the limits of your company. Don’t dream about outrageous and far off numbers that you know that your business is never going to reach. Your goals should be a stretch, but if they are not achievable you will become stuck in the exit process and never be satisfied with the end results.


Be sensible when setting your exit goals. The exit planning process can be tough and setting unrealistic goals will just make everything all the more difficult. Ensure that you have the right staff and resources to be able to meet your targets and your goals are not beyond the reach of your company.


Give yourself specific deadlines in which to reach your desired outcome. Without a timeframe your goals may get put off and objectives never met. A deadline ensures that your team will work hard to hit it and achievable goals almost always will be able to be met in a realistic timeframe. 


When setting your exit objectives, do not rush into any agreement and be brave enough to say no if a deal is not quite what you want. Stick to your guns. To help you set your exit goals, reach out to hgkc and we will be more than happy to help.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Know when you want to exit your business.

Know what you want and be SMART.

For more information on exit planning and setting your exit goals, visit Exit Planning

hgkc was born from the realisation that together our combined practical experience and knowledge can offer our clients a broader, deeper and richer experience that will deliver better results faster.