I am often asked by business owners who are not quite ready to sell, “What is Exit Planning and why is it important to my financial future?”.
The simple answer is, if you are thinking about selling your business within the next five years, it is critical to use that time wisely to create a strategy that, when properly implemented, will maximize the value of your company.
For most business owners, their business is likely to be their largest single asset. Yet, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, less than 25% have done any Exit Planning. This includes a huge number of baby boomers just now beginning to sell their companies and retire.
Ironically, there are many tools available to help individuals get into business, but few that help them get out. Designing an “Exit Plan” strategy is your guide for accomplishing your personal, financial, income and estate planning goals.
The Exit Planning Process is a customized comprehensive approach to designing and implementing a business owner’s successful exit from his or her business. Exit Planning uses an owner’s unique personal objectives to convert his or her current reality into the desired outcome. The Exit Planning Process helps maximize the financial return, minimize tax liability, plan for contingencies and increase the likelihood of a successful transfer of the business.
The process is multi-stepped and begins with understanding the business owner’s objectives as well as his or her business and personal financial resources. Further steps needed to implement a plan include 1) maximizing and protecting business value by identifying the key value drivers which give value to a company and are essential to meeting the owner’s overall exit objectives, 2) identifying to whom the owner wishes to eventually transfer the business – third parties, insiders, etc. 3) assuring business continuity by preparing the owner for contingencies arising from such changes as death or permanent disability, allowing the owner’s objectives to still be achieved if circumstances change, and 4) personal wealth and estate planning in which owners and their advisors create a plan and utilize estate planning tools that not only preserves wealth, but minimizes taxes.
Finally, it is necessary to understand that Exit Planning, being a comprehensive process, is a team sport and involves many disciplines. In addition to my services, the team should include most, if not all, of the following: the Business Owner’s Attorney, CPA, Financial Planner, Banker, Insurance Advisor and Management Consultant.
I like to use the famous quote from baseball great, Yogi Berra to describe the absolute importance of Exit Planning:
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there”.
Contact Henry @ 8oo.979.8570 for a no cost private consultation.