Dec 30, 2022

The Keys to A Successful Business Exit with Laurie Barkman, SmallDotBig – Beyond 8 Figures Podcast

If you’ve built a successful business, you’ll already know that it requires a lot of time, planning, and effort. But do you know what it takes to conduct a successful business exit? Laurie Barkman joins host A.J. Lawrence on the Beyond 8 Figures Podcast to explain why you should start thinking about your exit many years before you actually want to leave your business. She provides an overview of the steps you need to take to make the transition as smooth and beneficial as possible. 

About Laurie Barkman:
Laurie Barkman, The “Business Transition Sherpa,” is the founder and CEO of SmallDotBig LLC, working with owners to maximize the value of their company and guiding them through the complex process of letting it go. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business and host of the Succession Stories Podcast. 

Episode highlights:

  • Just like building a business, exiting a business takes a lot of planning and a lot of teamwork. Letting go is a process, and you want to start evaluating and maximizing value while time is still on your side. A lot of businesses never get sold; they just close down. So plan ahead to ensure that doesn’t happen to yours! (05:55)
  • Before exiting, it’s important to create a vision of what your life is going to look like afterward so that you don’t lose your identity when you sell your business. (31:08)
  • If you want your business to be transferable, make sure you have a documented process of how your business works so that people other than you can do what you do. (42:08)
  • Be patient with yourself! Being a business owner means there’s always something more to do, but be easy on yourself; you don’t always have to be in control. (46:53)

Laurie’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“Being a planner, being proactive, is a good thing. If we’re always running our business looking in the rearview, how are we able to move forward?” (11:46) 

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The Business Transition Handbook

The Business Transition Handbook

Preparing owners to navigate the emotional and practical nature of the transition process so you can exit on your terms and avoid succession regrets.

“A game changer to help you win in your exit and in life.”


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