Exit Planning is a crucial element for every business owner, yet unfortunately many don’t give it enough attention… until it’s too late.
Exit planning is defined as the creation and execution of a strategy allowing owners to exit their businesses on their terms and conditions. It is an established process that creates a written roadmap or Exit Plan, involving efforts of several professions facilitated and led by an Exit Planning advisor who ensures not only the plan creation, but its timely execution. This is a strong core competency here at M3 Advisors. We typically quarterback a team of your trusted advisors, which may include your attorney, CPA and other professionals.
Did you know that about 60 percent of privately owned businesses are owned by baby boomers and according to the Business Enterprise Institute, just above 800,000 firms have a value between $5 million and $200 million? While there are as many different plans as there are businesses, for most owners there are only 7 exit options.
The reality is that most business owners routinely focus on one exit option that they believe is the “right one” without having full knowledge or consideration of the others. A quality exit plan should consider all 7 options to determine what truly is the best fit, and what the expectations might be if pursued. The options include 1) sale to a third party 2) sale to a key employee 3) sale to family 4) gift to family 5) death/involuntary 6) ESOP 7) IPO. Every business is different, and each owner has a unique perspective and situation that will affect the best solution. We help our clients evaluate their options in light of their corporate structure, desired outcome and retirement income needs. These factors can play a major role in determining the best exit planning path for you.
In 2011, Exit Planning Advisors throughout North America observed a noticeable shift in the preferences of their Business Owner clients. In 2012 a survey conducted by the Business Enterprise Institute found an increased interest in transferring ownership to employees, family and co-owners across a broad spectrum of Business Owners. These related parties now represent the largest percentage of target successor owners. In previous years, a higher percentage of Business Owners intended to sell their ownership interests to outside third parties (strategic buyers, competitors, private equity groups, etc.). “Other” successor targets reflects Business Owner interest in retaining ownership indefinitely, combination sales to related parties and to outside third parties & other variations on typical Exit Strategies.
Let us help you determine the best strategy for your particular enterprise.