Chloe Quigley, CEPA, Business Exit Planning Advisor
It’s come up in a few conversations lately, so I wanted to address it head on – as a business owner, when is the right time to learn about how to maximize the sale of your company?
Some business owners have a blind spot about how to maximize the value of their business to help them cash in on the final sale or to best align it with their long term goals to pass it on to others. They may say, “I didn’t think there was anything for you to do here yet.”
The time prior to the sale of your business is the most critical time to engage an advisor or planner. Here are a few reasons why:
Your personal transition may already be overwhelming.
From letting employees know to defining your exit strategy and timeline, you’ll have a lot on your plate. It’s important to outsource and to work with your team so you can optimize your time – and utilize the strengths of others.
There are key planning opportunities that are only available prior to engaging a buyer.
Several tax planning strategies are only available prior to identifying a buyer and signing any contracts. Real estate transitions and investment opportunities similarly have requirements and audit processes that takes months to complete. There may also be estate planning opportunities that impact the transition of your business. Prioritizing and identifying these opportunities is best done with someone who’s seen and executed on similar transactions. And you do not time to work against you.
You want to do this really well.
An exit plan should fulfill your personal, financial, legal, tax, and estate planning needs. Within each of those spheres are several questions to consider. There is an order and a process to approaching the sale of your business and unlocking the wealth that you have built. Engaging an advisor that specializes in executing and managing this process will help you optimize your results and your satisfaction.
You may have questions about how and when you should exit. You may not have clarity over your priorities and desired outcomes. In either case, your exit planning team is there to support you and represent your family’s goals and values throughout your transition. A structured exit planning process adds clarity and eliminates confusion. It is best executed in advance of your sale.
Here are a few telltale signs that you’re at the point of needing to talk to an Advisor.
- You’re getting offers, even unsolicited, on your business and you’re not sure if they’re competitive or how to handle the situation.
- More and more, you’re feeling like you want to stop working in your business.
- Your leadership team is inquiring about your succession plan.
- You haven’t reviewed your buy-sell and, don’t know what would happen in the event of one of the five Ds occurring (death, disability, divorce, disagreement, distress)
- You’re curious about how much money you will need to maintain your lifestyle into retirement.
- Your partners are transitioning and it’s going to affect your own position in your company.
- You have questions about exit options. You don’t know about the different types of buyers that are out there.
- You want to know the value of your business.
We can provide you with some direction and clarity, helping make your eventual exit aligned with your wishes, smooth, and lucrative as possible. Reach out to our team today.
Chloe is a non-registered associate of Cetera Advisor Networks.