Plan: Exit Strategies

What do you need to know to prepare well, and successfully implement a lucrative transfer of the business? What do the acquisition markets look like? How do current events impact your time frame or financial objectives?

Life After Exit -- Time is of the Essence

From time to time, we share real stories about life after exit from owners who have sold their businesses. Some are great and some… not so much. The have agreed to share their experiences to help other owners prepare for …
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Exit Planning - Maintaining Control

For many owners, their biggest concern in an exit plan is maintaining control.  Whether they seek to sell to employees, family or a third-party, there is a fear that, once started, the process will have its own rules and momentum. My colleague John …
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Choosing Your Timeframe to Exit

“My timeframe? Talk to me in about five years.” When business owners are asked about exit planning, that answer is almost ubiquitous. In fact, a much-quoted 2008 survey of owners by Price Waterhouse Coopers (now PwC – not clear why …
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Internal Transfers: Legacy vs. Lucre

Lifestyle vs. Legacy Why would I refer to the results of an internal transfer as “lifestyle vs. lucre?” Lucre is a pejorative term. While it is technically just a synonym for money, most dictionaries draw the parallel to its use in …
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The Right Price for Your Business

“If someone offered me the right price, I’d sell in a minute!” Exit planners and business brokers hear it all the time. “Anything is for sale if the price is right!” What is the “right” price? Of course, you can …
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Why GenXers Won't Buy Your Business

There are six reasons why GenXers won’t buy your business. Last week I presented a webinar for the Exit Planning Institute entitled “The Perfect Storm.” It looks at six factors impacting the desire and the ability of Generation X buyers …
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The Nimble Small Business

Almost since time began, the nimble small business has been axiomatic. Large corporations are like big ships, the common knowledge goes. They take a long time to change direction. That is a comforting thought to business owners who choose to see …
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Quality of Earnings Part 3: Cash Flow

In the past few weeks we’ve discussed how quality of earnings audits look at your income and expenses, and their impact on company value.  Since Revenue less Expenses equals Profit (P=R-E), you could be forgiven for thinking that we have picked …
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Quality of Earnings Part 2: Hidden Expenses

In my last post we discussed quality of earnings audits from a revenue perspective. Customer concentration, marginal lines of business and contracts are the three most common revenue traps. If you are comfortable with your company’s strength and stability as …
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Quality of Earnings Part 1: Revenue Traps

This will be the first of several columns on quality of earnings. While a formal, third-party Quality of Earnings Study is more often seen in mid-market transactions, even small business owners should be aware of the factors that can cause …
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After the Exit; "Nothing Will Change"

“Nothing will change.” It is almost de rigueur for an acquirer to include that in his or her opening comments to the incumbent staff of a just-purchased business. Sometimes it is the seller’s attempt at making folks feel better. “Don’t …
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Exiting a Family Business: Three Questions

Transitioning a Family Business has special issues. This interview was reprinted last week in the newsletter of Steven Bankler, CPA. We asked San Antonio business consultant John F. Dini, one of the nation’s leading experts on business ownership and exit …
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A Transition to Exit Planning

It is time for a new direction. This marks my 400th posting to this site. I’ve enjoyed writing weekly about the daily issues and opportunities of business owners for almost ten years, but it is time for a change. Awake …
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Exit Planning in a New Political Environment

What does a new political environment mean for business owners who are planning to transition their businesses? Should you accelerate your plans, or slow them down? As I’ve said many times in this space and elsewhere, the biggest single factor …
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Exit Timing and the Global Economy

How much will your exit timing be affected by the global economy? Most small businesses serve local markets. Their owners, if they have thought about it, plan to sell to a local individual. If the local market is healthy, why …
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