So, after you have worked so diligently for years and years in your business, made sacrifices, taken risks, and are now beginning to think about that next chapter, where do you find resources to help you plan for one of the largest financial events of your life?
Our firm has worked with business owners in over 400 business sale transactions since 1984. Unfortunately, we found that prior to meeting us, very few of our clients had a well-defined, well-executed strategy for the transition out of their business. They were too busy working “in” or “on” the business to take a step back and put together a plan to transition the ownership of their business.
They had not taken the time to develop a plan to address issues like how much longer they wanted to work in their business, how much annual after tax income they would need during retirement – and where was it going to come from, and what would happen to the business, and their family members who relied on the business for their livelihood, if an unforeseen event did not allow them to continue in their business.
Each of these paths has its own unique set of issues and tax concerns that must be addressed well in advance of the transition. The process of addressing these concerns is aptly named “Exit Planning.”
All three options depend upon converting the business value to cash in some manner, over some period of time. The sooner a business owner identifies their objectives, engages advisors, develops a plan and takes action to implement that plan, the more control they will have over the outcome.
A universal ownership objective is to generate an income stream that you (the owner ) and your family will need to support a future lifestyle.
Most business owners have not taken the time to understand that there are ONLY three options for their transition out of their business:
Transition to insiders
( family or employees )
Sale to outsiders
Transition after death of owner to the estate,
(leaving it to their heirs to handle)
We also found that all of our business owners had one thing in common: “I want to receive the highest value for my business!” Value in this context may include minimizing risk, minimizing taxes, and insuring a successful transition of the business (whether insiders or outsiders).
We utilize an Exit Planning Process that has been developed and refined over many years, and which has helped several thousand business owners in a wide variety of industries achieve a successful exit from their business. The business owner’s objectives form the basis of each plan, and while each business and business owner has a unique set of facts, the process means the business owner does not have to reinvent the Exit Planning wheel themselves.
The owner’s clearly defined objectives will direct the planning and actions, and help optimize the net proceeds. A team of advisors, which includes an attorney, CPA, financial planner, insurance professional and M&A advisor, will support and guide the business owner throughout the process.
Our firm will coordinate the team of advisors on behalf of the business owner, to maintain accountability and progress towards the owner’s successful outcome.
“When a man does not know which harbor he is heading for, no wind is the right wind.”