Entrepreneurs are a passionate people. In general, they start a business with a deep understanding for whatever theyíre selling and work themselves beyond whatís humanly possible to make sure their success is a dream come true. But what happens when they want to take a break from it all?

This is one of the main questions that all small business owners must think aboutÖ since itís not really considered. When itís time to think about it, itís probably too late to do any planning.

Itís more than just passing on your success to others. It includes complicated situations between partners who want to break apart, something that the entire team goes through without any warning, and so on.

I bet youíre thinking it wonít happen to you and maybe it wonít. But itís still a smart move to prepare for it.

Here are some tips to think about as you work an exit strategy:

Assets

Remember to check up on any intellectual property rights, trademarks, patents, etc.
The majority of small business owners are so wrapped up in their business that they forget about any potential risks. Guarding yourself against risk it is a very important part of being an entrepreneur. Make sure you have everything in order, so nothing can be lost to workers or independent contractors.

Increase self-sufficiency

When you start a business, everything will fall on the founderís shoulders. As time goes on, itís smart to increase your self-sufficiency by writing down and working out smoother processes.

There are times when the small business owner actually becomes a major part of the business, which isnít a good thing. The very first thing you want to do is to remove yourself from the business so that it runs on its own. Write down everything you do so your management team can duplicate the same workflow. Keep it detailed, to the point, and redundant.

Reward your best people

If youíre the motivating type, I bet there are a lot of people who stuck around because of your tenacity. The second you head out the door, theyíre going to start crawling the web for the next gig. This is a terrible situation for any businessís long-term growth.

Itís critical to reward your best people and put them in management positions. You probably have strict policies already in place, but if you donít create an inspiring environment that keeps them focused on the future, the value of the business is nothing when you try to sell.

How can you reward them?

Think about more power within the company, more profit sharing, stock ownership, etc.

Buy your office

Imagine this: youíve been renting your office for ten years and the business flops leaving you with no equity to work with. Yikes.

If you can buy your office, go ahead. That way, youíll always have something to keep you going. Real estate is more stable than your business.

Work your books

Small businesses are widely known to mix up business and personal expenses. A quick trip to the store can end up in a shopping frenzy for office supplies. This is a problem when it comes to planning for the long run.

If something bad happens to you and youíve been handling all the expenses for the business, thatíll leave your business less valuable after everything is said and done. Keep your books nice and tidy at all times.

Create a will

I know we all donít like to talk about death, but if some tragic accident happens, itís good to have a will set everything in motion.

In your will, talk about whoís going to take the business over, and make it in depth. If you want your best employee to take your place, include that in the will. Or if you donít want a specific person to have any part of anything, include that, too.