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“Lack of planning is the #1 reason that exit plans fail”

Exit Strategy

Let’s start planning your exit strategy today.

Don’t leave the financial future of your business up to chance.

Exit strategy planning for your business is critically important, yet often neglected – with potentially disastrous results.

Some business owners figure on the wait and see method, building an attractive business and hoping that someone will make them a buy-out offer. Consider that some studies suggest that 90% of businesses that are actually listed for sale never sell. 

Other business owners don’t think about their exit at all, until the day they unexpectedly pass away and their heirs unexpectedly take over a business they know nothing about running. Maybe this is why 70% of family businesses fail before the next generation can run with them.

Proactive and early exit strategy planning is a much better idea. As odd as it sounds, I often start working with clients on planning their exit at the same time I help them form it!

Fact is, one of the biggest differences between owning your own business and having a job, even a very well-paying job, is building a valuable asset that can provide you and your family with long term financial security. With the right planning, your business can even be a big part of your retirement plan!

Without the right exit strategy planning however, and you could miss out on huge opportunities or your business could even fail or fall into the wrong hands.

Just a few of the benefits of good exit strategy planning

Frequently Asked Questions

Like your retirement, it’s never too early to plan for your business exit. In fact, I often have exit strategy discussions with clients even as I help them start their business! As you get closer to the target date of your exit, you should be paying more and more attention to your strategy. Ideally you will have at two years to fully implement the final pieces of your exit plan before you need to pull the trigger.

The ideal exit strategy will encompass many different aspects of your business with a dual pronged goal of making sure that you maximize the value of your business at the time of your exit and that your exit strategy be executed as smoothly as possible. Some of the issues we may address during the exit strategy planning process include:

  • Legal entity issues
  • Outstanding contracts
  • Employment practices and policies
  • Trade secret protection
  • Asset protection
  • Valuation issues
  • Leadership team best practices
  • Brand-building and protection

There are always two goals to effective exit strategy planning: 1) to maximize the realized value and benefit to you from your exit (this includes both the amount, frequency, and reliability of the financial value you will receive); 2) to minimize any disruptions to the process of implementing your exit strategy, whether that process means the sale transaction to a third party, transition to a protege, or transition to the next generation of family members.

There is no set answer to this question. The time necessary depends on your needs, desired strategy, and timeframe. If you are looking to transition your closely held family business to your children in a year’s time, then I will help you put together a plan of action to help make that a reality. If you would like to sell your business to investors within the next 3 months, I can help you make that transaction as smooth as possible. Or, if you want to put together a comprehensive exit strategy over the next two years, we can do that too.

The pricing for putting together a plan varies widely and depends on your business, timeframe, goals, and existing legal framework among other things. I always commit to flat fees on exit strategy planning with fees ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on what is needed.

I always recommend that we build a team of professionals to develop your exit strategy. At a minimum this will include a CPA and insurance advisor. Depending on the circumstances, I may also recommend that we include business appraisers, commercial lenders, business coaches, investment advisors, or benefits specialists on your team of trusted advisors.

If you already have your own team of professional that you work with then I’m happy to work with them. On the other hand, if you need recommendations, I maintain a network of highly vetted professionals who can assist with your exit strategy planning.