Stage 1: Determining Your Objectives Each business owner spends the majority of his or her working life planning how to grow and maintain a business. Have you given much thought to how you will leave that business when it is time to retire? To reap maximum returns, plans must be made in advance. Like any successful project, your exit strategy should be addressed in stages--beginning with an assessment of your goals. Consider the anticipated date of your departure, who will be your successor, how to build/preserve business value, and the sale price needed from the business to live a secure and comfortable retirement. Successful exit plans keep owners on track for their departure.