Face it. Some day soon you’re going to want to wind down and leave your business. So, how confident are you when it comes to managing your exit strategy? A new study by the Washington, DC-based Center of Women’s Business Research suggests women are knowledgeable, upbeat and ready to handle the last stage of the business cycle.
The study, “Exit Strategies of Women and Men Business Owners,” examined how women business owners approach exiting their businesses, their priorities, and their challenges.
“Contrary to common belief, women and men owners are equally knowledgeable and confident about managing their exit strategy,” says Elaine Sarsynski, senior vice-president of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, which underwrote the study. “This study demonstrates the maturation of the women business owner segment of the economy.”
The majority of both women and men (85%) believe that price is the most important factor when selling their businesses. However, women business owners also take into account a broad range of issues focused on the match between the buyer and the company. Women are more concerned than men owners about the future of their businesses and the well being of employees.
Some 72% of women are considerably more likely than men owners (30%) to take into account the buyer’s identity, personality and background.
Additionally, women are more concerned than men about a buyer’s plans for the business (79% versus 52%) and plans for current employees (86% versus 61%).
Women and men owners are just as likely to have had a formal valuation done to determine the price of their business (43%), be familiar with what it entails to hire someone to do a valuation (2.8 out of a scale of 5), and equally likely to say they are prepared to oversee the sale personally (3.8 out of 5).
Women and men owners are also equally likely to plan to maintain ownership (20%), sell (38%), pass on to family (23%), close (3%) or have no exit plan (16%).
The full study will be released in the fall.