Small businesses owners often do not have an exit plan because this is an emotional topic for most of them. This was not the case for Bernice Augusto, who owned a pizza restaurant and lounge in Tottenham. She operated her small business for thirty-two years, and describes this time as, “32 delectably and delightfully delicious slices of my life” (Pritchard, 2021). Although she considered retiring from the restaurant business before, it is the coronavirus pandemic that pushed her to finally make this decision.
Augusto’s exit strategy can best be described as liquidation or walkaway. She willingly closed down The Village Pizza Restaurant and went into retirement, which is an example of the walkaway strategy. However, the property was sold to new owners who plan to convert it to a cannabis dispensary (Pritchard, 2021). If a business has valuable assets, it can sell them during liquidation. The main advantage of this approach is that it is easy since it does not involve many negotiations or even transfer of control. For instance, Augusto does not have to worry whether the new owner will operate her restaurant in the same manner she did (Pritchard, 2021). This approach means that, essentially, the old business ceases to exist.
It is difficult for small business owners to retire from, close, or sell their businesses. They grow attached to them because they worked hard to start and operate them. However, it is prudent for all business owners to have exit plans. Augusto opted for liquidation because she felt she had worked long enough in the food and entertainment industry. According to her interview, she does not appear to have significant regrets about this decision (Pritchard, 2021). This highlights the importance of preparation with respect to exit strategies.
Pritchard, B. (2021). ‘It’s been a slice’: Longtime Tottenham pizza restaurant owner retires after 32 years in business. Simcoe.com. Web.