For owners and directors of small and family businesses, the first part of the lifecycle of their business is largely determined by natural market forces, the second by the choices they make. It is their choices in the latter stages of the lifecycle that are often critical to creating a legacy of success.
Maturity, transition of ownership and exit are natural and inevitable stages of every business lifecycle.
“Business Exit Planning is not about exiting.
It’s about where you are going.”
When it is time to move on, your exit does require careful consideration and planning. It is highly unlikely to be successful without your intervention and driving force.
Proper planning helps avoid many of the challenges associated with exit, succession or transfer of ownership; developing clear pathways forward and successfully resolving them.
Typical challenges business owners face are:
- What are my exit objectives?
- Active retirement
- A new venture
- Philanthropic and social contribution
- Sea or tree change
- Have some fun
- Take care of my family and dependents
- Will my business exit really provide enough money for me to enjoy the future I want?
- How do I exit the business, negotiate the legal complexities and extract a fair price?
- What contracts and financial structures should I put in place before I commence the transition?
- How do I manage emotionally complex family relationships so that my family and business assets are not needlessly put at risk?
- When should I start and how much time should I allow for the transition?
- How do I successfully transition out of the business and create purpose in the next phase of my life?
Don’t think about exit planning as a negative. The best reason for an exit plan is to plan your next adventure.
The best exit plan is the one that meets your personal goals. Planning well in advance gives you the time to do it right – and make the most of your returns.
Who Should I Talk To?
A sensible business exit plan will usually require input from your financial advisor, accountant and lawyer to ensure that it effectively executes your wishes. If you decide to close down a company, the Australian Government’s business website outlines the legal steps that are necessary to close a business, such as deregistering the company name, alerting the tax department and complying with employee contracts.
Equitas Partner’s succession planning service seeks to put in context complex financial, legal and relationship matters.
Rob MacLean is an elite personal financial strategist and business advisor. Working with him his clients enjoy:
Clarity – that comes from an objective perspective: untangling all the myriad details and focusing on what really matters, including the inherent risks and opportunities in your current situation.
Certainty – that a plan of action brings: a road map that takes account of your current situation and outlines how you can achieve your goals.
Expertise – to solve seemingly complex transition problems by using successful, proven strategies.