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Tips to Get Started on Your Exit Strategy

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Tips to Get Started on Your Exit Strategy

It’s never too early to begin planning the next stage of your life. Industry advisor Mark Richardson offers some tips to get started

By Mark Richardson August 11, 2022
remodeling business exit strategy
Transitioning yourself out of your remodeling company is a gradual process that requires careful planning. | Photo courtesy soupstock / stock.adobe.com
This article first appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Pro Remodeler.

We are all born and we will all die. This concept is also true when it comes to transitions for you in your remodeling business.

Transitions are even more of an issue today since so many company owners are aging out of the workforce. The important question is: are you controlling and designing this process or is it controlling you?

The following are a few tips and insights that may be helpful for everyone since transitions are inevitable.


RELATED: 10 Tips for Transitioning Out of Your Business

1. Know the Right Question.

Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel in five or 10 years?” Not just, “Where do I want to be?” If you can articulate the feelings you want to have (for example, freedom, health, energy, financial security), it will be much easier to design your roadmap or plan. On the financial side, ask yourself, “What is the net worth that I need in order to have the freedom that is required?”


2. Start Early.

It’s ideal to begin serious reflection on this topic at least 10 years in advance and start putting pieces in place five years before a transition. 


3. Rewire, Don’t Retire.

The image of clipping coupons on the beach in retirement is not very attractive to most people. I am more fulfilled and busier now than when I was running the business. Think rewire, not retire.


4. Who is Going to Fire You? 

I know the thought of being fired is a little disturbing at first, but after a minute or two, you realize that it is not only freeing, but also critical in this process. Identify two or three individuals and begin investing time to see which one can step up to eventually take your seat.


RELATED: Are You a Farmer or a Hunter?

5. Trade Time for Money.

Begin planting seeds into what you might want to do in the next chapter of your life, whether it’s consulting, speaking, or taking on a new business opportunity. This will require time and you may need to shed some of your present responsibilities in order to create that bandwidth. I suggest paying others more in your company or bringing in additional help. This will give you the freedom to pave the way for the future. Begin by taking an extra 10 hours a week to devote to future transitions.


6. Seek Help and Advice.

There are many advisors that can help you fill in the blanks, answer questions, and offer guidance. There are also many remodelers that have successfully gone through this process. [Editors’ note: see "Stepping Back: Selling My Company to Employees"]

You need to carve out time and have some meaningful conversations. Focus more on what to avoid rather than just the successes. The remodeling business is unique, so speak to advisors or peers within that industry.


7. Selling the Business.

Remodeling companies can be sold successfully, however, most (for a lot of reasons) just end up closing the doors or handing the business over. Try not to be greedy. Instead, look for win-win solutions. Research both good and bad models and start early enough to see a financial return from all your sweat over the years.

Transitions can be good or bad. The changes can have you fall backward or move forward. It is a choice. Choose to have an amazing passage and next chapter. You deserve it.


written by

Mark Richardson


Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com or 301.275.0208.

Comments (1)

  • Submitted by Donald Ferrier (not verified) on Mon, 08/15/2022 - 16:21


    I am the 3rd generation in my family business. Neither of the 2 previous generations did a good job of transitioning.
    My 42 year old daughter, & my General Managers, desires to take over both my High Performance custom home building business and my Green remodeling business.

    I started to work on a transition plan in early 2020, but then Covid turned our world upside down. This article is a good reminder for me to finish that plan.

    I had wanted to go from the CEO of my companies to the Chairman of the Board. That may or may not be a good plan.

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