Mark Lee and Karen Benz of, Business Legacy Consulting, began their discussion of “How to Ensure a Legacy for a Business Family with this quote by a famous philosopher.
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
Mark stated if you don’t put together a plan to accomplish something, there is a good chance you won’t attain what you want and need to. That could not be more true in the area of exiting a business. Research shows that many business owners just don’t ever plan on leaving their businesses or believe that there will always be a tomorrow.
These reasons contribute to what Mark and Karen call the “Ostrich Syndrome” or the excuses why individuals do not plan their exit.
A. “Too early”? — They suggest you start planning 3 -5 years before you leave your business.
B. “Too complex?” – Yes it is! That’s why you need help. Exit planners work to coordinate the work of your advisory team.
C. “Too time consuming? — Yes, if you do it alone. Again, exit planners will do the planning and coordinating of the work to be done.
An Exit Strategy includes the written goals for the succession of business ownership and control, derived from a well-thought out and properly timed plan that considers all factors, all interested parties, and the personal goals of the owners in a manner and a time period that works best for the business, its shareholders, potential buyers, and Family.
Mark and Karen left our members with much to think about as well as these three takeaways a Business Family can begin to immediately process:
1. Every business owner will eventually leave their business. The question is, will they leave on their
terms or on someone else’s?
2. The most important aspect of exit planning is going through the process of setting goals.
3. Those who are the happiest with their position in life after the transition are those who planned for it.
The majority of business owners spend an average of 80 hours developing a business plan –this at a time WHEN THE BUSINESS HAS LITTLE TO NO VALUE and yet they spend only 6 hours planning for their exit – WHEN THE BUSINESS IS WORTH SO MUCH MORE.
Plan for your transition – on your terms –and protect your Business Legacy and your family…
Mark and Karen, thank you for your insight and wisdom on the critical issue for Business Families.
They can be contacted at www.businesslegacyconsulting.com