Why Exit Planning?
As business owners are focused on the business of building businesses, they have difficulty in exiting them. They have worked their lifetime to accumulate their wealth, only to have it remain locked away until it is released by an exit strategy.
Fortunately at Exit To Success Consulting, our Exit Planning Process helps business owners exit their business on their own terms. It is much more than just selling a business through a standard business broker. It starts with nurturing the business to optimise its value and make it attractive to potential buyers, assists with the personal readiness of business owner to transition to life after business, and concludes with either selling the business for maximum value or passing it on to the family.
What is Exit Planning?
There are many issues that you will face as the business owner during the exit process. These can be both personal and business in nature, and will include some financial, taxation, legal and insurance requirements.
Each business owner has his own specific issues that will arise during the exit planning process. These can vary greatly from financial requirements around funding future lifestyle, to insurance needs around protecting against unplanned events, to developing a personal transition plan for life after business.
Four Stages of Exit Planning
At Exit To Success, we utilise our integrated Four Stage Process that addresses all issues that the business owner faces during the exit process. In our experience, this process generally takes between two to three years across the four stages.
Stage 1 – Plan the Exit
This stage is critical as this is where the blueprint that guides your business exit is developed. As your data is gathered and analysed, the individual issues are identified and your action plans are developed. This includes a reverse due diligence process, in which your business is reviewed from the same perspective that a potential buyer would undertake. This ensures that you have a clear view of the end game and the actions required.
This stage commences with some fact finding through extensive questionnaire and interviews to:
- Identify the current value inherent in the business.
- Explore the personal goals & ambitions the owner has for after the business sale.
- Identify other requirements of the owner that will need to be addressed as part of the business exit process.
- Identify areas within the business that need improvement.
This culminates in a comprehensive presentation to the client & significant other, and a detailed Stage 1 Report outlining recommended next steps. This stage normally takes 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the ease of accessing data.
Stage 2 – Protect existing wealth
This stage is also vital as it is here that the steps are undertaken to protect your hard earned wealth. These include measures to protect the business owner from the consequences of unexpected events that might occur during the business exit process.
The key components of Stage Two are:
- A personal transition plan where you design a future life plan that will engage you.
- A financial planning process to establish & plan for the financial assets that you will require after exiting your business.
- A risk management process to address the consequences of unexpected events such as accidents, sickness and evendeath.
- A review of your business structure to ensure that it supports your wealth creation requirements.
This stage often takes 3 months to complete, depending on the quantum of items that need addressing.
Stage 3 – Optimise business value
This stage is crucial to the success of your business exit as it is here where incremental business value is generated. This is achieved by focussing on increasing profit while making the business more attractive to potential buyers. This optimisation of your business value maximises your financial assets available for retirement or future endeavours.
The key businesses areas addressed in Stage Three include:
- A review of the strategy, structure & people capabilities of the business resulting in an enhanced business plan.
- A review of the marketing strategy with a focus on research, segmentation and marketing collaterals.
- Developing the systems and procedures to build sustainability.
- Ensure that there are strong governance and compliance policies in place.
- A thorough review of all the business exit options prior to commencing the sales process.
This stage often takes 12 to 18 months to complete, depending on the quantum of items that need addressing.
Stage 4 – Sell the Business
This stage is paramount as it is here that you unlock your business wealth. You have worked your lifetime to accumulate this wealth, and now it will be achieved through a strategic sales process designed to attract the best potential buyers.
The key steps undertaken in the business sales process include:
- Identify and canvass potential buyers. These are generally found amongst your competitors, your suppliers or your key customers.
- Prepare & circulate the Memorandum of Information to commence the selling process.
- Engage and negotiate with potential buyers to maximize interest.
- Oversee the Due Diligence process and address any concerns.
- Manage the business sale to completion.
This stage often takes 6 months to complete, depending on the ease of attracting potential purchasers.
Time to Start your Business Exit Journey
Our business exit planning process is holistic in nature, addressing your personal, financial and business needs. It cannot be done overnight though, and from our experience takes between two to three years to complete.
This process allows you to design and implement the exit strategy that best fits your individual goals and gives you peace of mind. With the end result, that it enables you to leave a legacy for your family rather than a mess to clean up.
Give us a ring now to book a free consultation on 0419 104 897 0r email on email@example.com.