Succession Plan/Exit Strategy
Hi, I’m Steve, I am a Certified Mergers & Acquisition Advisor, and Certified Exit Planner and I have worked with many small and mid-sized company owners to ready their businesses for sale. I have over 30 years of experience in business, consulting large corporations such as General Motors, adidas, Thrifty Car Rental, mid-sized companies, start-ups, and even investors. I am a Business School Grad and am Harvard Educated.
What is a Succession Plan or Exit Strategy Engagement
A Succession Plan and Exit Plan are related but have very different situations to contemplate. Succession Plans involve an internal transfer of the business, such as to current management or business-involved family member(s). Exit Plans target third-party buyers for the business.
Both plans accomplish the same owner goals for sale the business: when they want, for what they want, to who(m) they want. Also, both plans focus on establishing and strengthening enterprise value so owners are not disappointed with the transaction price.
In addition, Succession Plan value comes from maintaining and strengthening relations with family and management. The last thing an owner wants when transitioning out of their business is family acrimony or management that is not on board; both can have an impact on the owner long after the announced sale of their business. An Exit Plan prepares an owner for one of the most complicated processes they will ever be involved in–the sale to an outside party.
Announcing the intent to sell without an Exit Plan can lead to many avoidable pitfalls: lack of marketability (businesses that stay on the market longer typically sell for less–if at all), tax/estate exposure, lower enterprise value, sellers’ remorse, and not taking care of others the owner wants to benefit from sale.
Incentica uses BEI’s 7-step process for all Succession & Exit Plans:
- Identify Owner Objectives
- Quantify Business and Personal Resources
- Maximize and Protect Business Value
- Sale of Ownership to a Third Party
- Transfer Ownership to Insiders
- Business Continuity: Lifetime and at Death
- Personal Wealth and Estate Planning
The key will be working collaboratively as partners, with regular communication on the status of phases and next steps.