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Succession (Exit) Planning

The Two-Pronged Approach to Exit Planning

Posted on 04/18/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

When business owners begin to think about their business exits, they tend to focus on one specific goal that they want to achieve. Some owners focus on when they want to exit, some focus on how much money they want when they exit, and others focus on the person or group that will take over

How Emotion Affects Your Business Exit

Posted on 04/04/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Generally, business owners feel comfortable being owners. They enjoy what they do, but rationally, they know they need to change their roles in their businesses eventually. But most owners don’t resist planning their exits on a rational basis. Instead, they resist Exit Planning at an emotional level. Consider Clancy, a 50-year-old business owner. He loves

The Importance of Setting an Exit Date

Posted on 03/21/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

According to surveys, up to 79% of business owners plan to exit their businesses within the next 10 years, with more than half saying they want to exit within the next five years. However, many business owners fall into the trap of the “rolling five-year Exit Plan,” in which owners constantly reset their exit dates

Handling the Early Stages of Exit Planning

Posted on 03/07/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

For business owners, the idea of exiting their businesses, which for many owners define their professional lives, can seem like a gigantic undertaking. They ask themselves, “How can I possibly do all of this? Where can I go for help, and what do I need to know?” These questions are perfectly normal to ask as

How Does Exit Planning Protect Business Value?

Posted on 02/21/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

When you set about starting your business, you likely had big goals and expansive dreams about its success. Whether success meant having an impact on your community, making as much money as possible, or something else, you probably wanted your business to become the ideal firm in your market. As you build your business toward

When Key Employees Stall Your Exit

Posted on 02/07/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

An important part of a successful ownership transfer, regardless of Exit Path, is the presence of key employees. Key employees are those who have a direct and significant impact on business value, meaningfully participate in the business’ strategic future, and whose combination of skills and experience would be exceedingly difficult to replace. Because of their

Setting Exit Goals for the New Year

Posted on 01/19/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

With the new year upon us, many people have begun their journeys to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. For business owners, it’s no different. Between creating goals for the business to achieve and assuring that the business keeps growing, owners will have much to consider this year. One of the goals most commonly shared by

Setting Exit Goals for the New Year

Posted on 01/05/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

With the new year upon us, many people have begun their journeys to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. For business owners, it’s no different. Between creating goals for the business to achieve and assuring that the business keeps growing, owners will have much to consider this year. One of the goals most commonly shared by

Estate Planning: A Small Slice of a Bigger Pie

Posted on 12/20/17 by Robert J. Lane, CPA

Business owners commonly associate Exit Planning with estate planning, and they aren’t too far off. Good Exit Plans and estate plans both aim to assure that the owner’s family is provided for after the owner is gone. Both an Exit Plan and an estate plan might address a transfer of ownership to an intended recipient

Business Continuity Instructions: Guiding Your Family, Even After Death

Posted on 12/06/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

As owners approach their business exits, one topic that’s often overlooked is unexpected death or permanent incapacitation. One reason owners gloss over this topic is because it injects an uncontrollable element into a controlled process. Many successful business owners take pride in the control they have over guiding their businesses toward success, so the idea

What Could Go Wrong When Transferring Ownership to Employees?

Posted on 11/28/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

We often hear owners say they want to transfer their businesses to third-party buyers when they first encounter the concept of Exit Planning. However, we’ve observed that in many completed Exit Plans, owners actually choose to transfer their businesses to employees. Some reasons for this decision include employees knowing the culture and values of the

Avoiding Unwanted Surprises

Posted on 11/08/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

For some business owners, a third-party sale is their best option for a successful business exit. Third-party sales are popular because owners often believe they can get the most money from their businesses in as little time as possible from a third-party buyer. They might be right. But what they may not consider is how

For Business Exits, Being Inconsequential Is of Great Consequence

Posted on 11/07/17

It’s likely that few people, if any, have ever told you, “You need to make yourself less important,” regarding your business. But sophisticated buyers look for businesses that can operate without their owners. Unless your goal is to sell or transfer your business, and then stay with the business as a subordinate to assure a

Minimizing Threats to Business Value

Posted on 10/04/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Many owners and advisors talk about the importance of growing business value, and there are nearly unlimited options to help business owners do just that. But wouldn’t you agree that growing business value is pointless if you don’t know how to reduce the threats to that growth? As you prepare for an eventual exit from

How to Increase Your Business’ Value Using Value Drivers

Posted on 09/20/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

A fundamental aspect of a successful business exit is assuring that your business has enough value to allow you to exit with financial security. This, coupled with wisely invested non-business assets, gives you the best chance to pursue the Exit Path you want on the timeline you want. Obtaining a proper, professional business valuation is

An Estimate of Future Company Cash Flow

Posted on 09/06/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Cash flow is one of the most important factors in a business exit. Today, we look at why securing a professional estimate of your company’s cash flow is crucial to the success of your Exit Plan. All buyers, whether an outside third party or an insider (family member, co-owner, or key employee), will use cash

Why Setting Goals Is Important, Even If They Change

Posted on 08/17/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Setting goals is critically important to owners who begin Exit Planning. Without goals, even the strongest processes fail, because they have no purpose to work toward. Your goals are what guide your process toward a successful exit, and without them, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels in the mud of indecision. While setting goals is

Protect Against the Pain of Exiting Your Business

Posted on 08/02/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

You know how things work in terms of starting and running a successful business. You’ve hired the right people, offered a useful product or service, and developed high-quality relationships with your customers and vendors. None of these things magically appeared out of thin air: You most likely followed a proven process, mixed in with your

Which Comes First? Estate Planning or Exit Planning?

Posted on 07/19/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

A successful business Exit Plan achieves three important owner goals: Financial Security: The business sale or transfer provides the amount of income the owner and owner’s family need after the owner’s exit. The Right Person: The owner chooses his or her successor (children, key employees, co-owners, or a third party). Income Tax Minimization: The owner

Death and Taxes vs. Preserving Wealth: The Final Exit Planning Contest

Posted on 07/05/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

The ideal Exit Plan (one that provides the business exit you desire) includes a strategy to help you preserve your hard-earned wealth from unnecessary taxation when it is transferred to your family. However, to preserve wealth, business owners must take steps before they actually have wealth. In other words, to realize all of the potential

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