According to a PwC lower middle market and small-business owner research study, 75% of business owners profoundly regret selling their business just one year after selling. This is often the result of the owner and their advisors failing to meet all their objectives and not holistically advising the owner. Owners arrive at the exit planning discussion knowing little information, and advisors can sometimes be siloed in their approach to business planning. While the advisors prepared the business for sale and tried to get maximum value, they failed to consider two other critical aspects outside of an owner’s business: the owner’s personal vision and financial goals.
Business, personal, and financial goals make up the three legs of a stool. If the stool is missing a leg or one leg is shorter than the other two, it would topple over. This mirrors a business owner’s exit from their company. An owner without a holistic plan that includes their personal ambitions and personal financial strategy will fail to exit successfully.
Reaching Your Business Goals
47% of owners in the 2021 New York State of Owner Readiness Report by Exit Planning Institute indicated their “company must perform well to maintain my lifestyle.” Additionally, 93% of the survey respondents indicated it would be helpful for the company to remain profitable for its transition plan to be executed properly. In fact, over half of the owners, 52%, responded that this would be “critical” to their lifestyle.
This shows the importance of building a valuable company that is not only successful but significant. Successful companies are ones that have steady growth, a healthy balance sheet, and a good profit and loss statement. They also provide a good income to the business owner and have average to good year-over-year performance. They have great employees, a good culture, and engaged customers.
Scott Snider shares, “When the business owner goes to exit, they are slapped in the face as they do not have anything of significance. Good income does not translate directly to value.”
Significant companies are concentrated on income generation and value creation. As such, not only do they have a successful year-over-year company, but they have a company that is highly valuable, transferable, ready, and attractive while aligned to the owner's business, personal, and financial goals.
Understanding Your Financial Needs
According to most financial advisors, an owner’s business wealth is usually 80-90% of their overall net worth. Creating and maintaining updated personal financial plans, estate plans, and tax plans are important for one’s personal financial strategy and mitigation of personal financial risk.
The Importance of Personal Planning
Having a strong, ready, valuable, and transferable business is only part of the equation. To truly have a significant and fulfilling exit, you need to understand your personal purpose and what you want in the next phase of your life. Once that is established, just like the business, you can wrap a process and framework around achieving this set of personal goals and objectives. These tie into your personal financial plan.
Selling your business involves a lot of strategy, advisors, and planning. But without considering your personal goals as well as business value, you will face extreme difficulty determining your ideal sale price.
By leading with personal planning, the owner will venture toward a significant company. One that is highly valuable, transferrable, ready, and attractive while aligning with the owner's personal and financial goals. Giving them a more balanced and fulfilling life today and no regrets in the future.
Over the next few weeks, we'll walk you through the perfect, purpose-driven exit. We'll cover:
- Planning for your business, financial, and personal goals.
- Finding your purpose.
- The importance of non-financial retirement planning.
- Including family considerations in your personal plan.
- Preparing for your next act.
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