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Exit Planning Mountain  - 6 steps to help prepare you for the climb

Exit Planning Mountain - 6 steps to help prepare you for the climb

| August 04, 2020

Each year, around the middle of May - the brief window  when the temperatures are the warmest and right before monsoon season, hundreds travel from around the world to the Himalayas with the goal of reaching the summit. of Mt. Everest.  Even considering such a feat requires extreme preparation and there are no guarantees of success.  Countless stories can be told of the challenges faced and of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of their dream.  

The pursuit of the vision of your perfect post-work life is not unlike climbing a mountain.  Money is the rope that enables us to move forward.  Market pullbacks at retirement, loss of a job, health events and countless other things can feel like obstacles too large to get around.  How do you make progress when there is a boulder in your path?

1. Know where you are now - Gaining clarity as to exactly where you are now is critical.  Know your numbers.  What are your assets and liabilities?  What are your living expenses and those big ones ahead?  Do you have children/grandchildren whose college you will be funding?  Could there be a big wedding or two ahead?  

2. Know where you want to go. If you see your life three years from now retired from the company that you own but haven't made any real steps to put the wheels in motion, now is time to start.  This process can seem overwhelming, especially when you are still managing the day-to-day of it and also living a life outside of business.  It is important to see beyond business ownership - traveling the world, playing golf, spoiling your grandchildren, etc. - so that you have the motivation to do all that needs to be done to have the most successful exit possible.  Imagining life on the other side of the boulder can help create momentum.

3. Understand the risks of not being prepared - You may already know this, or at least suspect it, but not taking the proper steps to get your company ready to sell will likely leave you with less - perhaps much less - than you could end up with if you had taken the time to be better informed and to have structured the many aspects of your business in the most optimal way. Do you have a current valuation?  What could you realistically net from the sale of your business?  What sort of cash flow could this generate for you during retirement and is this enough for you  to do what you want and need to do?

4. Have the right equipment - Financial and organizational documents, bylaws, minutes of meetings and annual registrations are among the many items that you will need to have in good order in order to have the best chances for a successful exit.  Do you have a buy-sell in place?  Is your business prepared for the untimely death or disability of all key employees?

5. Know who you are climbing with - If your business is a family business, do your children want to take over the reigns one day?  If you have more than one child, do they all want to be involved?  If you have partners, do you know the same about their families?

6. Get a guide Preparing for the sale of your business requires a well-qualified team of professionals, each with high levels of expertise in their fields...from estate law to tax planning to valuation and financial planning, assembling this team should help to prevent missteps along the way.  Having a guide to assist you in identifying possible team members may help you save valuable time.  

Once you have taken the steps to prepare for this climb of a lifetime, enjoying the view from the peak will be exhilarating.  Need help getting on the right path?  Send us a line #whatsnext? #beready! #familybusinessisateamsport