Most business owners are fully occupied running their businesses. While they intuitively recognize that "exit planning" is an important activity that will affect their future, many owners find it easier to habitually attend to routine demands for their time and attention, rather than to address the less routine and sometimes unfamiliar activities involved in exit planning.
Consequently, exit planning slips onto the "Later/Someday" list of things to do, until an unexpected life event or the looming prospect of retirement leads the business owner to decide that "exiting" is a high priority. Many of these owners will then be surprised to learn that exit-related activities can require anywhere from one to five years to accomplish. Alternatively, they may have to consider a sub-optimal exit.
Why would failure to prepare for exit result in a sub-optimal transition? Here are some examples:
Pace Capital Advisors offers business owners a means of moving "exit planning" from their Later/Someday list to Today's To-Do list, without allowing it to become a major disruptor to their day-to-day activities.
You can learn more about Pace's Exit Planning Advisory Service by selecting each of the four tabs below.
Exit planning comprises a set of activities through which the owners of privately-held businesses prepare for and optimize the results achievable from the sale or transfer of their ownership interests to new owners.
When considering ownership transition options, most business owners will seek to answer the following KEY questions:
Answers to these questions vary widely, reflecting the diverse life and business circumstances of privately-held business owners. Furthermore, there are usually dozens of subsidiary questions that one must answer before one can answer these KEY questions. Finally, answering these questions usually requires the involvement of one of more external professional advisors including attorneys, accountants, wealth management advisors, M&A advisors, tax experts, insurance advisors, and other specialized professional service providers.
When properly conducted, exit planning integrates and optimizes a business owner's personal and business objectives in preparation for an ownership transition. The key categories of objectives typically addressed are:
Once a business owner begins to "peel the onion" to articulate these objectives, they usually discover that doing so can be quite challenging without a comprehensive, coherent process. Furthermore, the process inevitably reveals numerous ways in which the owner as a person and/or the business as an entity are unprepared for exit.