Why Do I Need An Exit Strategy?

Someone else having an equity stake in your business is a bit like having a mortgage. Although you own the house, someone else has an interest in it and will expect to have some say in what you do with it. However, as an Angel owns a share of the business, rather than a fixed sum, they will want to actively try and help you succeed so they get a good return on their investment. The more you make the more they make. 

Just as a mortgage lender will want to be paid back when you sell your house or in an agreed period, so your Business Angel will want to agree a repayment or exit strategy with you. The difference is that the Angel will probably want to take their share out after 3-5 years. It often takes longer in reality but the returns tend to tail off for Angels after this time.

You need to work out a way to do this that suits your business situation. You can exit an Angel , by simply buying back their share or selling it to another larger investor or VC or by selling the entire business through a trade sale or through an AIM listing. Remember that an Angel's exit doesn't necessarily mean your exit. You can keep running the business for the next 30 years and leave it to your children if you want to, but the Angel won't want to wait that long to make their return.

Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further.

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