Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine the value of my business before exiting?

The most common methods for determining value are based heavily on analysis of historical financial performance. However, to maximize business value before initiating a sale, it is essential to significantly broaden this perspective. In addition to financial factors, it is crucial to assess other aspects such as market position, growth potential, operational efficiency, customer value proposition, and the underlying processes supporting each of these components.

Focus should shift from the current worth of the business to a future value that meets the owner’s goals and objectives. By evaluating these elements collectively, a more accurate and strategic valuation of the business can be achieved.

Those curious about the role these non-financial factors play in the value of their business are encouraged to explore the ExitMaster™ Business Transition Index.

What are the different options for exiting my business?

When it comes to exiting your business, numerous options are available. Each will have a unique set of considerations. Options may include a sale to management or employees, or perhaps a transition to family members. Others involve attracting a third-party entrepreneur to take over operations directly, or finding a financial buyer who seeks a business that can “run itself.” Another option is a strategic buyer, who will be seeking to grow their current business primarily through the acquisition of your customers, capabilities, and market share.

Pursuing exit options that are not a good fit can negatively affect the final outcome. For this reason it is critical to identify those the company is best suited for. Here, it is critical to acknowledge that in addition to adding time and expense, pursuing options that are not a good fit may significantly jeopardize the feasibility for your other exit avenues as well. It is vital to seek expert guidance to fully explore the range of alternatives. In this way, one can direct preparation efforts towards options that are best aligned and that support the most favorable outcomes possible.

Ready to embark on your journey of strategic exploration? Schedule a private call with Doug today.

How far in advance should I start planning for my business exit?

Owners often find themselves in situations where it is too late to frame a plan that will achieve their desired outcome. However, it is never too early to begin thoughtful preparation. As a rule of thumb, for someone seeking to maximize the value of their business, it is best to pursue the creation of a robust and structured plan 3 to 5 years in advance of an exit.

This allows sufficient time to consider and align all critical components required to structure a plan that best serves the interests of owners, their families, and employees. Going through a business sale can be a very stressful life event and therefore not the best time to make snap decisions about the future. Successful planning helps owners consider and be ready to make important critical decisions well in advance of an actual sale, and this allows for a smoother, less stressful, and more successful ownership transition.

If you wish to discuss your ideal planning timeframe, we invite you to schedule a private call with Doug today.

Will it be necessary for me to be involved in my business after a sale, and if so, how long?

There are several ways an owner’s future involvement might be negotiated and structured. Various buyers may want an owner’s participation for several years, while others may release them from that obligation right away. Frustration understandably arises when owners are unexpectedly asked to provide a level of participation they hadn’t initially envisioned. This underscores the benefits of starting the planning process early. Thorough exit planning considers how the business itself can be set up to allow an owner the degree of participation they ultimately desire.

If you are concerned about the length of commitment you may need to provide, please schedule a private call with Doug today.

What does a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) do?

A Certified Exit Planning Advisor helps business owners prepare for transfer of their company to family or another owner. We devise a Master Plan that asks and answers all business, personal, financial, legal and tax questions involved in transitioning their business to new ownership. The discovery and alignment of goals in these areas provides owners opportunities to maximize transferrable business value and better control the desired timing of their exit.

Business owners typically get a lot of advice, both professional and informal, about business succession and are tasked with somehow arranging that information into a viable plan without ever having done it before. This can be confusing. CEPA’s use a five-step process to answer all these necessary questions, while the owner remains focused on the business’s performance. In this way we create a successful partnership that can accelerate business value, as well as build the owner’s personal financial wealth.

To further discuss the benefits of working with a CEPA, schedule a private call with Doug today.

For a complementary consultation, how long should I plan on meeting, and how should I prepare?

For an initial consultation, it is best to allocate 1-1/2 to 2 hours. There’s no need to prepare extensively; simply be ready to share your vision and knowledge. Through conversation, Doug will gather insights about your business and determine how to best assist you in the areas of planning and enhancing company value.

Shortly after, you’ll be provided a proposal for review. Regardless of whether you accept our proposal or not, you will gain a clear understanding of the next steps required for you to be successful.

To begin your journey, please schedule a private consultation with Doug, or call (651) 333-2170.

Open the Door to Your Ideal Exit