Julie Keyes, founder of KeyeStrategies, has written “Poised for Exit: A Woman Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Transition,” which shares advice from business owners she has advised and from other transition experts. She also shares details around her own business sale. The book is scheduled to be released soon.
Keyes joined Upsize Managing Editor Andrew Tellijohn to talk about the book.
Tellijohn: What will readers get from this book?
Keyes: They’re going to get a lot. The content is really rich. It’s formatted with stories of clients I’ve worked with over the years who have exited from their businesses, women entrepreneurs and married couples when there was a woman involved. I focused on women because there isn’t anything out there on women and there are 17 million women entrepreneurs in the country.
Each of the eight chapters has a checklist that addresses issues having to do with exit and transition planning relating to the stories I tell in that chapter. There are seven or eight questions they can utilize to think about what they need to do to get their business ready for transition.
Several local and national firms have also contributed tools in the appendix of the book on subjects like M&A, estate planning, family business. The tools are basically for the business owner to understand they can’t do it alone, it’s not a do-it-yourself project. It emphasizes the importance of having a good advisory team, a collaborative team to work with in an exit planning situation.
Tellijohn: How is selling a business different for a woman than a man?
Keyes: Logistically speaking the nuts and bolts are the same. If a man read the book he’d get as much out of it as a woman. I wrote it focused on women because women tend to have a higher emotional stake around their companies and employees than men do, so they may resist exiting their business because of that.
A lot of times their employees, their team become like family to them. They are the nurturer many times. That’s kind of our nature. The book is meant to address those kinds of feelings as well, and to acknowledge they are there, accept that they are not going to go away and to give themselves permission to move on with their lives.
Another nuance is that women business owners experience over men is women often struggle to figure out who they really are outside of the fact that they run a household, they raise kids, they are a wife and they also own and run a business. I’ve lived all that.
If that goes away, like the kids move out or the business gets sold, the woman has a big job to do figuring out who am I without all of these things in my life. The time to have this conversation isn’t after it’s over, it’s before.
Tellijohn: Where can people find the book?
Keyes: It will be on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble or they can pre-order the book by contacting me.
Contact: Julie Keyes is the founder and owner of KeyeStrategies LLC and president of the Exit Planning Institute of the Twin Cities Metro Area Chapter: 763.350.5563; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.keyestrategies.com.