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How To Leave Your Business On Your Terms

Do you remember your first child’s first smile?  First words?  First steps?  Looking back, what are some of your fondest memories with your child or children?  Was is the times they overcame adversity to realize success?  Was it watching them interact with others kids in a way that made you proud of the core values they actually heard you preaching about over these past 20 years? 

What do you feel when you think back on your child’s life? 


Do you remember your first day after you launched your company?  First office (parents garage, kitchen table, etc).  First employee(s)?  What are some of your fondest memories when you look back on your journey of business ownership?  Was it overcoming adversity to realize success?  Was it realizing that you were now supporting families and their dreams because of your company?  Was it financial success for yourself and your family? 

When you think about leaving your business?  What do you consider?  Net dollars in your bank account?  How employees will be treated by the next owner or ownership group?  How will you fill your days long after your ownership has transitioned away from you?  What will be your identity now that the business and its name won’t?  What will you be passionate about?  Grandchildren?  Golf course?  Travel?  Shopping with your girlfriends?  What priority do you assign to each area of consideration? 

1.       It’s a very important step.  Write down a list of the factors you feel are important to consider.

2.       Prioritize that list (no ties)

After determining your priorities, you are on your way to defining your goals and objectives that are coordinating your personal retirement and estate goals and needs with your business ownership transition goals.

3.       Clearly define your retirement needs (Financial Needs Analysis)

4.       Coordinate your ownership transition goals and objectives with your personal retirement and estate needs

The next step is probably one of the most important, as well.  Assemble your team of advisors who have experience advising clients through a transition.

5.       Set the meeting of the advisors

If you’re CPA has no experience with ESOPs, and that is the vehicle you will utilize as part or all of your exit, find a CPA who has the experience. 

If your insurance broker only has experience with less sophisticated strategies and you need to utilize a split-dollar arrangement for your C Corp, find an insurance professional who has the experience with the solution you desire.

If your CFP or retirement planner does not have experience with more sophisticated qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation planning, find one that has that skillset.

The hardest part of the “Meeting of the Advisors” is setting the agenda and working to empower your advisors to work with each other and for you! 

We created the Meeting of the Advisors structure.  We take every ownership transition client through this.  If you think we can add value there, we’re happy to have a conversation with you to explore whether we’re a good fit for one another. 

301-816-4683.  Ask for the Community Whealth Transitions division. 

Stay informed.  Trust your process.  Happy Retirement!!



James Roberts