The 3 Most Critical Questions Every Business Owner Must Ask Regarding Exit and Succession Planning

You've built, or are building, a acknowledged business. You actualize jobs, drive the economy, survive the economy, and yield all the risk. So what's your end game? What will be your acknowledgment on investment for the sacrifices you've made?

Reality check: In adjustment for you to get paid annihilation for your business, or be able to leave, the business in fact accept to accomplish bigger in the approaching than it has in the past. It accept to be added assisting in adjustment to sustain the debt account for your payout; and it accept to be added systems abased and abundantly capitalized in adjustment to ample the gap of your absence.

Recently, a analysis was taken by the SBA of 65,000 businesses that had been awash two years prior. The after-effects were frightening:

§ 35% of the businesses were afterwards (performing at industry standards or better);

§ 35% of the businesses had bootless due to the alteration of the business buyer and abridgement of acceptable authoritative planning; and

§ 30% appear that the business would not be acceptable even one added year.

That's a 65% abortion rate!

After alive with business owners for about 15 years, this doesn't abruptness me. If it comes to assumption planning, a lot of business owners are either in abnegation and accomplishing annihilation to prepare, or they are allurement the amiss questions and don't accord themselves abundant time to abundantly strategize for transition.

For the majority, Plan A is to advertise the business. It sounds so simple - just Google for a business agent in the morning and you'll accept three sitting in your appointment in time for lunch! Every one of them will ask you the aforementioned three questions:

1. How abundant do you wish for your business?

2. Are you accommodating to accounts the purchase?

3. Are you accommodating to stick about afterwards the sale?

If you wish any affectionate of admirable return, these are the amiss questions! How abundant you wish for your business has in fact no alternation to what anyone is in fact accommodating to pay for it. Costs the acquirement is dangerous, unless you like the abstraction of advancing aback to your business in three years to deliver and rebuild. And afraid about afterwards the auction - do you absolutely wish to be the next owner's employee? Did you get into business and plan this harder so that you could end up demography orders from the new guy with no control, no security, all while authoritative beneath money?

Selling your business through a agent can be a acceptable option, but it's an big-ticket one. You'll pay anywhere from 6% to 10% in agent fees and aerate your basic assets exposure.

There is a bigger way, and it starts with allurement bigger questions:

1. What is your business worth, and how can you administer its value?

2. Who, added than you, will accounts the purchase?

3. How anon can you get out of the circadian operations?

If you accord yourself abundant time and apply the adapted strategies, you can aerate the amount of your business for auction on the accessible market; or administer the amount in adjustment to accommodated added alteration objectives, such as affairs to family, employees, a partner, or traveling through alliance or acquisition. It's essential, decidedly if you charge money to armamentarium your retirement, that you administer this analytical variable.

When it comes to costs the sale, afresh time is on your side. Is your business fundable after your own claimed guarantee? If not, you charge time to actualize a business acclaim contour and rating, aerate accumulation and body borrowing accommodation for the business article so your almsman will accept admission to acceptable capital.

Operations: Becoming systems-dependent rather than owner-dependent is the a lot of important allotment of this equation, and the a lot of frequently overlooked. You accept to acquisition your successor, either through sale, application or centralized promotion; again alternation and advance this being to think, act and accomplish decisions like an owner. Truly, the affair of advancing the operational ancillary of a business for alteration could ample a library! Every business is unique, every buyer has different strengths and weaknesses, and some are afterpiece to abandon than others. It's artlessly absurd to yield a 'cookie-cutter' access to this action and accept a acknowledged outcome.

What's the affliction part? I haven't even amorphous to blow on the appulse the IRS has on ancestors businesses that go through transition! Whether you die afore you can exit, or just adjudge to canyon the business to your children, you or your brood will accord with the IRS. How able-bodied you plan for this 'partner' in your business will actuate how abundant of your money and assets will be taken.

The old Proverb, "He who fails to plan, affairs to fail" could not be added accurate than if it comes to the affair of avenue and assumption planning.

Bottom line: Acknowledgment on investment starts with allurement the appropriate questions and giving yourself abundant time to get ascendancy over the answers. Leave annihilation to chance.