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Rice University Continued Education.

Developing a Successful Exit Strategy for the Business Owner

Anyone who has founded and built a successful small business will at some point want to exit the company. Family members often have no interest in the business, making a sale your only exit option. Yet, only one in five businesses ever sells.

In this course, you will learn what makes the difference in those businesses that do sell and learn to put a sound strategy in place long before a sale is attempted.

  • What have you done to prepare the business for sale?
  • Are your financial and operations records in order and transparent to a potential purchaser?
  • Has an independent evaluation been completed?
  • Are your business processes clearly defined?

Al Danto and Al Napier, both of whom have extensive experience with start-up businesses, will discuss these and a host of other issues necessary to successfully exit a business.


  • Benefits of a benchmark valuation
  • The business valuation process
  • The importance of a long-term plan
  • Strategies to increase the value of a business
  • Proper organization of the company
  • Choosing a professional team
  • Financial considerations and terms
  • Sale and post-sale considerations


Al Danto, MBA, has more than 20 years of experience with start-up and entrepreneurial companies and extensive experience in small business mergers and acquisitions. He founded Structured Graphics, which he grew into one of the largest printing and document-management businesses in the Houston area, and is now partner in an investment company that controls a majority interest in several businesses, including commercial landscaping, statement processing, software development, healthcare staffing and product distribution to government agencies. Mr. Danto also formed a mergers-and-acquisitions consulting company that advises entrepreneurs on how to evaluate, prepare and sell their businesses, and he has represented many Houston entrepreneurs in the sale of their companies. He holds a BA in business administration and mathematics from Central Michigan University and an MBA from Rice University.

H. Albert Napier, PhD, is professor of management in the Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, where he teaches entrepreneurship, information technology and e-business. He is the co-author of “Preparing an Entrepreneurial Business Plan,” “Business Planning: 25 Keys to a Sound Business Plan” and “Creating a Winning E-Business.” Owner of the computer consulting and training firm of Napier and Judd for 21 years, Dr. Napier now serves on the board of directors of a food distribution company and two start-up companies. He holds an MBA and a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin.