When we talk to business owners, they usually tell us that their business is their pension. Of course, this may be true, but it can be notoriously difficult to quantify this since a business will only be worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it.We apply a bit of financial science to the process of a business exit strategy through what we call Lifestyle Financial Planning.Plan when you want to retire from your businessWe work with many business owners who work hard and earn a decent income. However, there will come a point when you will want to retire. You need to think about this well in advance of your retirement date, since you will need to start preparing your business for the transition and possible sale. It can be common for business purchasers to require that the selling party remain in the business for some time after the sale.Think about what your retirement should look likeWe work with clients to plan their lifestyle expectations, so they can then work out how much is enough to live the life they really want, and never run out of money. Through comprehensive financial planning we can work with them to understand how their financial decisions will impact on their future desired lifestyle. It is important to think about how you want to structure your retirement, because many of the decisions you take now cannot be reversed.How much is enough?Once you understand what your lifestyle goals are, you can then assume how your income, assets and expenditure will change over time. This can be put together to work out how much you might need to sell your business for when you actually sell. Or as an alternative you may want to stay on in the business in some capacity and continue to receive an income. Financial planning can help you to work out how much that income needs to be.Work on the businessOnce you know how much the business needs to be sold for, you can then work on the business itself to get it into the state needed to be sold. We work with business advisers such as coaches and accountants who help their clients work on their businesses to get them into shape for a sale. We find that once you know the amount you need to generate from your business sale, the pressure is off. if you get an offer which meets your expectations then you can take it.Manage your financial futureOnce the business sale has taken place, you need to manage your assets and investments to ensure that you never run out of money. This means regularly reassessing your financial plan and managing risks with your investments.Your business sale should be part of your general financial planning and is only one part of the overall picture of your lifestyle.