Having an exit plan for your business is not something that you should only think about when it is time to sell. Ideally you would have your exit planned before you start or buy the business. Lets be honest, running a health club doesn’t give you a lot of free time, whether the club is a small boutique studio or a 3000+ member full service club, your time is very limited. It is totally understandable that many gym owners don’t have a plan in place when it comes to exiting their business. The thought of using any free time to work out an exit plan (usually something that you may have heard about but are not too sure what it includes) is a very easy thing to put off. Fitness Business Sales (FBS) speak to people looking to sell their business almost every day, in most cases by the time they speak with them the decision to sell has already been made. In many situations this decision has been forced by circumstances that they did not see coming or they are simply just over it and by their own admission they should have sold a while back, many have also been trying to sell without success. Selling a business when you are in this position is difficult, time pressure is much more likely to force you into taking less for the business and you can easily walk away with tens of thousands less than you deserve. If you need to sell quickly then the process can seem to take twice as long and the whole situation becomes more stressful for all involved. If that does not sound like the type of approach that you would like to take then making a small amount of time each week to work on your exit plan can make a huge difference as and when you decide to sell. The good news is that having a solid exit plan in place will also give you a more profitable, easier to run business in the short term. With a strong exit strategy in place the ideal situation is that you will have a business that is ready to sell at anytime but you have to question yourself as to why you would want to sell such a profitable business that is not causing you too many issues. Having a strong exit plan in place, you will see many of these benefits will kick in almost immediately and will make your business more valuable and saleable. There are several factors that affect the value of your business, one of the main elements (that you have control over) is the profit that the business generates. In many cases the value of your business is going to be calculated and considered by working out a multiple of the annual net profit generated for a working owner/operator. With this in mind it stands to reason that the more profit the business makes then the more valuable it will be. Knowing your numbers is crucial at any stage of the business cycle and if you do not already know your key metrics and margins then now is the time to make start, don’t put this off any longer! This does not mean that you have to do all of the bookkeeping yourself and become a financial whizz but it does mean that you should be able to see how your business is tracking and spot any potential issues before they are allowed to get out of control. When you have identified the most important KPIs for your business and your goals then you should be tracking and monitoring the results consistently. At Fitness Business Sales we work with all health clubs through a balanced scorecard approach. This way you are tracking every Pillar of your Business in order to ensure success.