Should I tell my team I'm planning to exit?
"It's important to be clear with employees about the plan to exit the company, whether it be in two or five years. Otherwise, share schemes may be viewed as empty promises."
Jess Saumarez | Founder | Hedira (acquired by Subpod)
What do you think of the advice: "You should tell your team that you're planning to exit?"
Generally, I would recommend telling your employees that you're looking to exit, especially now that many founders are giving their employees shares through various schemes, such as EMI schemes. I have done this myself in previous companies. When founders give shares to their employees, they bring them into the company's mission and give them something to work towards. However, it's important to remember that employees will only see monetary gain from these shares if there is an exit. Therefore, it's important to be clear with employees about the plan to exit the company, whether it be in two or five years. Otherwise, share schemes may be viewed as empty promises.
Would you give this advice to other business owners?
Definitely. When creating a culture of collaboration and striving for employee buy-in for the company's mission, it is crucial for the founder to be transparent about their plans for exiting the company. This ensures that employees are on board with the vision and can assist in achieving it.
In Jess Saumarez' opinion: These are the most important things to consider when planning your exit...
There are several things to consider when preparing for an exit. As someone who works for a law firm, I may be biased, but I believe that getting corporate governance in order is important. This includes ensuring that all of your Articles of Association are watertight and that all paperwork between founders or shareholders and stakeholders is in order.
Additionally, it's essential to review and understand your data, as it can be a significant driver for a business to be purchased. This includes making sure that your data is correctly organised and compliant. When preparing for an exit, it's also important to consider your valuation and to ensure that your intellectual property (IP) is protected. For example, if you are an agency with a strong brand reputation, it may be wise to take steps to protect that reputation, as it may be something that a potential acquirer is interested in.
In summary: Paperwork, data, IP.
Jess Saumarez' bio
Jess Saumarez is an entrepreneurial digital marketing expert. At the age of 28, Jess has co-founded two businesses: LUX Rewards and Hedira, and is now Chief Commercial Officer for Stephenson Law. Jess uses her skills to connect consumers with brands that are trusted, authentic, and ultimately: human. Stephenson Law works with scaleup businesses to provide them with the legal help they need to grow.
Humble promo of Jess Saumarez and Stephenson Law
Jess and her team at Stephenson Law produce some brilliant content I highly recommend checking out.
Here are some examples:
Share options and incentives for your staff
Article and infographic on how businesses can prepare for due diligence
EMI options are and how it affects their business
Also if you want to know about the best ways to care for your house plants, definitely check out Jess' business that was acquired Hedira. It's such a great app!
Finally, if you ever get a chance to meet Jess, she's super friendly and spreads a really positive energy. She'll inspire you to tackle any challenge in your business. And of course she can give you some really solid business advice!
Daniel (Polymensa founder)
Explore other perspectives
Co-founder @ M&A Advisory
"This is one big exception when you don't inform your employees of changes in the business"
Partner @ SI Partners (M&A experts)
"If you're talking about planning stages, I would say that's high-risk"
Co-founder @ Mash (acquired by WPP)
"I think you can't go wrong with a degree of transparency"
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