Exit Planning

Exit PlanningExit Planning is a process that results in the creation and execution of a strategy allowing business owners to exit their businesses on their terms and conditions. It is an established process that creates a written road map, or Exit Plan, often involving efforts of several professionals, facilitated and led by an Exit Planning advisor who ensures not only the plan creation, but its timely execution.

An Exit Isn’t Built in a Day

Building Rome and planning a business exit have much in common. Both require strong foundations. Both should be able to withstand unforeseen events and adapt to the needs of the Caesar/owner. Both require more than a day.

Strong Foundation

In our opinion the only successful business exits are those that meet all three of an owner’s primary objectives:

  • Leaving the company on the date an owner chooses;
  • Leaving the company to the successor that an owner chooses;
  • Leaving the company with the amount of cash desired to secure a comfortable post-business life.

You may have additional objectives that we will explore as we create your plan. The foundation of your Exit Plan will be your objectives, not ours.

The Seven Step Exit Planning Process™

  1. Your Exit Objectives
  2. Your Business and Personal Financial Resources
  3. Build and Preserve Value
  4. Selling Your Company to a Third Party
  5. Transferring Your Ownership to Insiders
  6. Business Continuity
  7. Personal Wealth and Estate Planning

Flexibility & Adaptability

Great Exit Plans keep owners on track to successful exits. They provide for changes in the company, in the make up of key management, in company profitability and in the owner’s health and personal life. While we put Exit Plans in writing so that you can hold your advisors accountable for their progress in moving you toward your exit, plans are not inscribed in stone. If you change your mind about leaving your company to a child, or if a third party buyer unexpectedly approaches you, a well-designed plan adapts.

Planning Takes Time

“How much time does it take to plan a successful exit?” is a great question whose answer depends on your objectives and on your answers to our many questions including: Do you have a strong management team in place? Does that team want, and is it prepared to pay for, your ownership interest? Is your cash flow growing? Are there third party buyers active in your marketplace?

We can’t tell you exactly how much time will elapse between today and your retirement party. We can tell you that the more time you give us to plan, the more successful our strategies will be. On the next page, we provide a snapshot of a “typical” Exit Planning timeline. Of course, we’ve created both shorter and longer timelines for our clients.