Should entrepreneurs launch a start-up with an ‘exit’ as their main aim?

The main reasons for entrepreneurs to form an exit plan is ‘to make a profit’ or because they get tired of working in the same sector for too long.

Launching a start-up is an exciting adventure that entrepreneurs take on as they try to solve a collective issue in the market. The reasons for launching a business vary, but many entrepreneurs still have an eventual exit as their main priority when they launch their start-up. In fact, a quarter of entrepreneurs have an exit strategy when they launch. But should entrepreneurs consider this?

Most entrepreneurs who consider an exit strategy say making a profit is their driving motivation, but some entrepreneurs just get fatigued

Entrepreneurs aren’t always starting passion businesses with longevity in mind, with more than one in five admitting that they launch start-ups with eventually selling up as one of their main aims. Furthermore, research shows that, of those who have selling up in mind when launching, half regret selling at least one business in the past.

The team at conducted the research in a bid to further understand the habits of entrepreneurs based in the UK. A total of 989 adults, aged 18 and over, were quizzed as part of the study, with all recipients revealing that they were an entrepreneur who had launched at least one business prior to questioning.

All participants were initially asked, “How many businesses have you launched?”, with the majority, 62 per cent revealing they had started ‘1-3’, 23 per cent saying ‘4-6’ and the remaining 15 per cent stating they had launched ‘7+’ businesses.

Wanting to find out more, researchers asked all respondents what the main reasons they started up these businesses were, with ‘it was a passion of mine’ (35 per cent) and ‘I knew it would eventually sell well and had exit in mind’ (23 per cent) coming out top.

Those who stated that they had exit in mind when launching a new businesses were asked why they would start a new company just to eventually sell it, with the main reason emerging as ‘to make money’ (89 per cent) and 9 per cent admitting it was due to them getting tired of working in the same sector for too long.

Participants who had exit in mind when launching a business were asked, “Did you have a way of assessing the value of your business before you went to sell it?” with the majority, 53 per cent, revealing they didn’t. All of these respondents, 100 per cent, wished that they had a precise way of telling them how much their business was worth before they sold up.

Finally, the relevant respondents were asked whether they believed they had sold their business too early, with more than half (52 per cent) revealing that they thought this was the case for at least one of their launches.

Andrew-Paton Smith, creator of comments, ‘Launching a new business is terrifying for first timers, but by the time you’ve done it more than once, it becomes easier. If you have confidence in your idea and you think it will sell for lots of money later on down the line, then there is no issue in launching something just to sell it off. It’s important to ensure you are completely aware of your business’ valuation though and that you aren’t getting ripped off during a sale.’

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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