Most exit plans I’ve dealt with are some combination of these three basic techniques. And, the lines that differentiate them can be fuzzy.
Owning and running a business is tough stuff, and at times you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. But leaving your business can be just as challenging, considering you generally only have one shot to get it right.
If you think about it, just about every exit plan can come down to three tools. A recent Forbes article titled “Three Ways to Exit Your Business” examined these tools: sale, capital transfer, and gifting.
While there are many ways to mix-n-match these tools depending on your unique circumstances, the biggest failure is to put your head in the sand. Is it any wonder two-thirds of all business fail to make it from the founders to the next owners, and only half again make it from that second hand off to the third level owner?
The key teaching point is to engage the professional services of your accountant, financial advisor and attorney sooner rather than later. Like a good coach, make sure your “team” knows the end result you want to accomplish in your business transfer.
Be sure to read the original Forbes article as part of your preparation.
Reference: Forbes (March 19, 2013) “Three Ways to Exit Your Business”