Breadth of Business Exit Planning / Succession Planning Options – Real Client Examples

In my blog post on Exit Planning and Succession Planning Options, I discussed the many ways to exit your business. When we think of exit planning, we tend to think of simply selling the business one day and receiving a check for the full amount. The reality is quite different. There are so many possibilities, many that may be much more in line with your transition planning needs. As a business owner selling a business, you need to consider the options.


Real Client Examples of Exit Planning Options

It occurred to me recently that my current clients illustrate this in a very real way. It is one thing to walk through potential, theoretical ways to exit. Guiding clients through so many different approaches, each case designed to fit THEIR SPECIFIC needs is different. All need to build transferable value over time, but their exit plans will differ.

At this moment, I am working with clients with a wide variety of exit strategies that include:

  • Transition from one Generation to the Next: planning includes business value growth, skills development and “upgrading” marketing efforts.
  • An outright Sale to a 3rd Party: work is focused on building revenue, profitability and transferable value to maximize the sale price. Classic exit planning – build value and put it on the market.
  • A Merger of two companies: the exit strategy is for one of the owners to buy out the other over time. Key to their planning is to build the firm for long-term growth to ensure the company continues to be attractive to the younger partner. This will ensure that the buy-out process continues until the senior partner is completely bought out.
  • Equity Investor – Partial sale: possibly a complete exit over time…an early stage company with high growth, considering a first round of private equity investment. Eventually, there may be a second round and/or an outright sale.
  • Transition to Children: a family-owned company thinking 20 years ahead to the succession planning that will prepare their currently young children to take over the business. All of the foundational work and value growth will provide for alternative exit strategies should the children not end up taking over.
  • Keep Options Open: Plan for a third-party sale, with a potential next generation stepping in, to be determined. Working on building transferable value and cleaning up infrastructure for either eventuality.


How To Get Started on Your Exit Planning

The past blog post I mentioned on exit strategy options may sound theoretical. I hope these real client examples get you thinking about YOUR succession planning options. Consider the alternatives that may be more appropriate, more profitable and more in tune with how you would like to create YOUR future.

If you haven’t begun to plan, get on it! Get a business valuation done, build your advisory team, start on building business value!



David Shavzin, CMC
[email protected]
The Value Track
Succession Planning / Exit Planning, Building Transferable Value for Sale
Atlanta, Georgia
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