How To Run Your Business So You Can Leave It In Style
There are a lot of reasons to go into business: independence, financial security, the pursuit of a dream. But have you thought about how you are going to get out?
Exit Planning is a customized process designed to assist business owners in establishing, prioritizing and ultimately achieving their exit objectives. It enables owners to leave their company when they want, to the successors they want, and with the amount of cash they need.
Whether your successor will be your children, a key employee or an outside buyer, Exit Planning helps you maximize your financial return and minimize your tax liability when you transfer your business. If you die or become disabled before you retire, Exit Planning will help the business survive your departure, enabling you and your family to receive its full value.
Seven Steps To A Successful Exit:
Step One - Establishing Owner Objectives
A winning Plan rests on three owner-established goals:
When you want to leave
How much money you want when you leave
Who you want to leave the business to
These form the foundation of your Plan.
- Inevitability White Paper
- Exit Routes White Paper
Step Two - Establishing Business Value And Cash Flow
Step One establishes what you want or need in order to leave your business in style. Step Two determines what you have -how much is your business worth? If you're selling to a family member, key employee or co-owner, future cash flow of the business after you leave it, is even more important than value.
- Business Valuation White Paper
Step Three - Promoting Value
What features, or characteristics, are necessary to make your business saleable and valuable? These features (Value Drivers) either reduce the risk associated with owning the business or enhance the prospects that the business will grow significantly in the future.
- Value Drivers White Paper
- Using Short Term Key Employee Incentives White Paper
- Employee Incentive Planning White Paper
Step Four - Sale To A Third Party For Top Dollar
If your goal is to sell to a third party, we can help you do so for top dollar.
- Transferring Business to Key Employees White Paper
- Value Drivers White Paper
- Exit Routes White Paper
Step Five - Transfer To Management Or Family Members
A sale to insiders does not end with the closing. Only when your price is paid in full does the transfer end. We help you orchestrate a successful sale to insiders who often lack sufficient cash.
- Transferring Wealth to Children White Paper
Step Six - Developing A Contingency Plan For The Business
But business continuity is much more than simply making sure there is a new owner. If you die or become disabled before your exit is complete, your dream of financial security will become unattainable.
- Business Continuity White Paper
Step Seven - Wealth Preservation Planning
The sale of a business generates cash. Cash for you, your family and the IRS. We can help you minimize the IRS's share.
- C vs S Corp White Paper
- ESOP Opportunities WHite Paper
A person does not build a successful business, through years of effort, in order to have it sold for the best offer that the executor may receive following his or her death. There are too many contingencies to leave to chance the disposition of a business interest after the owner’s death. In most cases, the business is really treated like a member of the family, so it is surprising that the parents could let that happen.
Lack of planning for these transitions is the reason in nearly every case. There are only three directions the plan could take, but each one requires sophisticated advanced preparation. Businesses can be . . .
Preserved for family ownership and management.
Sold to partners or outside parties for family revenue.
Liquidated for the family members to pursue other directions.
The success of these options depends on having everything in place-goals, agreements, people, and finances. These are not simple steps to begin with, but once the plan has been finalized and initiated, it must be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in
any of these circumstances over time.
Questions family business owners should ask to help secure the company's future.
- What different ownership/control scenarios would result from your retirement, disability, or death? What financial scenarios? What family scenarios?
- What agreements are in place to assure the right scenarios occur? What valuation and funding assumptions support the agreements? How often are they reviewed?
- What are your spouse's and children's feelings about your business at this stage of their lives? What is their involvement in the business today? In the future?
- What potential conflicts of interest will be created by your succession plan if some children remain active in the business while others do not?
- If you feel the right thing is to sell the business, how would your heirs find a buyer? If one could not be found or the price was too low, what is the fallback position?
- If your business became one of the failure statistics above, would it be because . . .
- Liquidity needs for estate tax and estate equalization purposes forced a sale in an unfavorable environment.
The revenue base was not sufficient for the needs of broader family ownership.
Second generation fell into factions over financial and management issues.
Family members, executives, or outside CEOs failed to fill your leadership role.