We help you identify an exit strategy and succession plan from the business you have worked hard to build and grow. Whether you are ready to exit today or preparing for the future, there are decisions and strategies that can help you better transition your business, on your terms, when and how you prefer.
Planning for and managing business ownership succession can mean weighing dozens of different, and sometimes conflicting, options. Your decisions should be guided by facts and objectivity.
Understanding your goals and readiness are paramount, including when you’d prefer to exit the business and who you’d like to see running it in your place. Whether you have a partner, multiple partners, or are the sole owner, the ultimate goal is to preserve, protect and maximize the value of your business interest.
If you are a business owner who has not formulated an exit strategy, you are not alone. Many people who run their own businesses wait too long to settle on a plan of action. The delay can be costly. There are definitive steps a business owner can take prior to a sale that will help preserve greater value. The sooner one starts to map out the possibilities and determine what is most suitable for their particular circumstances, the further ahead they will be in achieving the maximum value possible.
Planning for a change of ownership in advance accomplishes two important goals: business continuity and preservation of value.
An owner who tackles this subject early on – before retirement or an unexpected offer for the company – is more likely to get the optimal value and benefits when the business finally changes hands.
Answering the following can give you the stability and clarity you need during this process:
What is your role with the business today, and what would it be post-succession?
What do you need to maintain your lifestyle post-succession?
Perhaps your goal is to retire from the business and travel; or you have a chosen successor in mind, but you would like to remain in a consultative role with the business for a year or two to help with the transition. Ultimately, your responses to these core questions will inform your transition path, whether it will entail selling your business to a third party, transitioning ownership to employees, or passing the business on to family.
We will also review and consider any existing Buy-Sell agreements you may have in place with an existing partner to ensure that your interests are best protected. It is important that your commitments to each other are funded in the most economical way to protect the business, as well as each partner. Thoughtful considerations must also take into account the tax impact to the individuals involved. The intention is to ensure a smooth transition for the inevitable death, disability, retirement of any owner, or sale of the business.
A strategic analysis of your business, its resources, value and human capital provide an honest assessment of talent, and an excellent starting point for discussions.
Considerations will be made as to whether you plan to transition your business to the next generation or sell it to an outside buyer. If you want to keep it in the family, you will want to weigh how best to handle family members who are not involved in the business and probably will not be in the future. You will also need to consider the impact of ownership transition on your most valuable employees and what you can to do keep them in place.
Carefully considering your options and wishes, as well as the impact of those choices, are areas that we place tremendous time and consideration. Cornerstone Wealth Advisory’s advisors seek to understand your goals, the dynamics of your family and business and will work with you in a holistic way to achieve all that is possible. We provide objectivity and support throughout a complex process, to best prepare you for the next phase of your life.