The largest transfer of wealth in history is happening right now as baby boomers retire and sell their businesses. According to the 2016 BEI Exit Planning Survey, 69% of business owners plan to exit within the next five to ten years. As this massive transfer of wealth occurs, only 17% of business owners have an exit plan, with only 9% claiming the desire never to exit their company.

Regardless of planning, 100% of business owners will eventually exit their company 100%. A lack of planning leaves most business owners with a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability.

 

Exit Strategies, Are YOU Prepared!?

First, what exactly is an exit strategy?

An exit strategy is a business owner’s or entrepreneur’s strategic plan to sell their ownership in their company or close the company when retiring.

Ideally, an exit plan is put into place when starting a business to influence company operations and growth strategies. In most cases, exit strategies include acquisitions, management buyouts (MBO), or initial public offerings (IPO). These and other options are available to you. However, they each require different strategic planning and analysis.

An exit plan can be put into place at any time, not just when a company is founded or purchased. A local advisor can guide you through the process of planning your exit.

If “dying at the desk” is your exit plan, who is your successor, and how will the business transfer?

Often, when a sole proprietor passes away with no exit plan, their family is left deal with company ownership issues. Sometimes this results in fights over inheritances that destroy relationships and leave some family members with nothing. Don’t let this happen to you and your family.

 

You need to do it, so why wait?

Business owners generally wait until they’re ready to exit the company to start planning, and waiting can be a risky move for numerous reasons:

  • Severe illness or death can happen at any age
  • Some exit planning may take years
  • Through the process of exit planning, you may identify areas of unnecessary risk or decreased value
  • Unpredictable political environment such as new tariffs
  • Unforeseen technological advancements that may change your industry
  • Training your successor may take months or years

 

What’s involved in an exit strategy?

Goal setting:

What do you want your exit to look like? How much money do you want for retirement?

Setting reachable goals in your exit strategy will allow you to steer your company towards meeting these goals. If you don’t plan to meet your goal, then you plan to miss your goal.

Timing:

When is the ideal time for your exit? Is your exit timing based on age, the sale value of the business, or a different factor needing consideration? If your timing is your age and your goal is to sell for $x, then your operation and growth plan may need to be adjusted accordingly to meet these goals.

Depending on the nature of your business environment, it may not be possible to accomplish your desired goals.

This is a harsh reality for those business owners that wait to create an exit plan until they’re ready to exit.

If this sounds like it could be your scenario, and you plan early, you can plan for alternative solutions.

You will not know until you know.

An expert advisor can be your guide to an initial exit plan and later a revised exit plan if necessary.

Many business owners have a valuation done annually to keep a close eye on the progress they’re making towards their exit plan goals.

Intentions of business:

As part of your exit strategy, what will become of the business after your exit? As mentioned earlier, most exit strategies include acquisitions, management buyouts (MBO), or initial public offerings (IPO). Will your exit strategy include one of these standard options, or do you have a different plan in mind? All options are worth exploring with your expert advisor as each has unique elements to consider.

Next steps:

As an owner, will the proceeds of your exit be reinvested or put towards retirement?

Contact a local expert advisor to discuss how to move your company forward with an exit plan. Your exit plan can have significant tax implications as well.

Create an appointment with an expert advisor to discuss your exit.

For additional information on adequately planning to exit your company, visit www.CBS-Global.com and schedule a free consultation.