Ownership Exit & Succession Planning

Why even have an exit strategy and plan? A big reason is the upcoming demographic change. Many sources are predicting that 50-70% of small to mid-sized businesses will change hands by 2020. Even if this is off by half, it’s a lot of businesses and a lot of seller competition.

Not having an exit strategy means you have no strategy. Working hard for an income is great. Working hard for an income, legacy and a large upside is even better.

We provide the services and tools needed to effectively navigate the succession and exiting planning process. Our company provides several customized programs that prepare your business for sale/transfer, maximize your business value, chart a course to meet your personal and financial goals, and protect your wealth. Our team guides you through every step to arrive safely at your destination.

We help our clients choose an exit strategy. This includes planning, preparation and exploration of options. It means not only preparing the business but also preparing the owner. As your professional exit planner, we can simplify this complex process providing you with the accurate information necessary to make competent decisions. Our customized exit plan gives business-centered advice that puts you in control of your destiny.

A transition to family members, a management buy-out, an ESOP and absentee ownership are options. Selling to outside parties, however, is often the top choice, and often the most lucrative. Of course, whom do you sell to, and for how much, is a key issue. Different buyer types have different needs and wants. Understanding what each type of buyer wants is a key element to any exit plan and the related company preparation.

3 Exit Strategies For Your Business

1. Passing the business to a successor

In this case, the successor can be a family member or a manager in the company.

Advantages:

Reduces third-party involvement

Gives you the possibility to maintain involvement and influence in business

Disadvantages:

It can be difficult to identify and train the right successor

Potential for conflicts at work and/or in the family

The first step when choosing this option is to establish the ideal profile for your successor. Then, identify and evaluate potential candidates using fair, measurable criteria.

2. Transferring ownership through a management or employee buyout

Here, the management team or a group of employee’s pool resources to acquire all or a part of the company. This is one of the best options for owners who don’t have a candidate for succession or who want to preserve the corporate culture of the business.

Advantages:

• Limited due diligence usually necessary

 • Rewards management for their long-term support for the business

• Protects legacy and business independence

Disadvantages:

• Management often has limited access to capital and this could affect the price and the terms

• Vendor take back likely (seller loans part of purchase price to buyers)

• Failed purchase attempt can affect business morale and performance

3. Selling the business to a third party

There are several options for business owners who are looking to sell their small business.

  • Initial Public Offering (IPO)—The sale and/or issuance of shares in a private company on a public stock exchange.
  • Private equity—The sale and/or issuance of shares to a financial investor.
  • Sale to another business—The sale and/or issuance of shares to another operating company. This is a good option for shareholders looking for a clean exit and the highest possible value.