When we started exploring the topic of the impact of private equity (PE) firms in the field of behavior analysis, we neglected to address a critical element — exit strategies. I have rarely met an owner of an ABA organization who started their business expecting to sell it for tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars.
The influx of billions of dollars from mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, led by PE firms has created a market in which this is the reality — not for all organizations, but enough to impact the field of behavior analysis in profound ways. Good or bad remains to be seen.
But for 80% of agencies that escape the interest of PE firms — typically because it’s too small — the answer to the question “how can I (ethically) exit my business” might not be clear.
As an entrepreneur who actually did start a business with an exit strategy in mind, this has been top of mind for a long time.
Owners of ABA organizations have several exit options. We explored these and the related pros/cons, including ways to “ethically” exit a business to leave behind a positive legacy.
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