Christine Trumbull is a CPA and Quickbooks certified pro advisor and the founder of Pinnacle CFO Services. 28 years of experience in financial and business management have led her to her current role: ensuring seamless transitions for founders and their families.
A trusted resource for family-owned and closely held businesses looking to take their company to higher places.
“My investment advisor suggested that I sell my company to an ESOP. Is that a good idea?”
“My estate planning attorney recommended that I begin giving my business to my children. What do you think?”
“I’m getting tired of running my business every day. My accountant thinks a sale to a third party is a good idea. What’s your opinion? ”
Sales to key employees, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, transfers to children and sales to third parties can all be excellent exit strategies so questions like these should elicit an “I-have-no-idea” response from your advisors. How can any professional know which particular exit path is best for you?
Unless and until your advisors know more about your company and the exit goals you wish to achieve, they cannot possibly know which exit route is best. If they readily answer your questions, they may lack experience and/or a coordinated approach to helping their business-owner clients.
It is the job of the experienced Exit Planning advisor to ask you the right questions so that you decide where you are going, who is going to help you get there and the route you are going to take. Your answers help your advisors plan and implement the exit strategy that will best meet your goals.
We recommend that you begin your Exit Planning journey with two things:
If you are a regular reader of this newsletter, you are familiar with the contours of the road to a successful exit. Since finding and using experienced advisors may not be as easy as reading a book or visiting a website, please feel free to call us with your Exit Planning questions.You can schedule a call with me here.
Planning an exit is a multi-disciplinary endeavor. Protecting assets, growing value, transferring a business to children (or co-owners or employees), selling to a third party, and assuring business continuity are tasks that exceed the expertise of any one advisor. That’s why we recommend a Team of Advisors.
An Advisor Team generally consists of the following professionals, at least:
If a third party sale is likely, the Team will include a:
While that would be ideal, the answer is no. Not all advisors understand the Exit Planning Process, but all should be able to work with other professionals as a member of a team.
Assembling and consulting with your Advisor Team not only facilitates the exchange of information and ideas, but can reduce your costs by increasing the efficiency of each advisor. Instead of advisors proceeding in a disjointed manner, often repeating the work of others, you and your lead Exit Planning advisor coordinate the efforts of all advisors. In addition, waiting, doing it yourself, and/or relying on one single advisor can cost you significant money left on the table at transition. Think of this as an investment in the single largest sale you will ever experience as well as the primary source of your retirement. Do you want to chance leaving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on the table?
Many business owners are familiar with many of these professionals and have worked with them individually in the past, but have not assembled them as a team charged with a common goal: helping you to leave your business in style. We can help you start to assemble your Team.
Contact us. We can recommend other advisors, and can ask you the questions necessary to help you define your best exit path. Whenever you’re ready to fast track your business success, book a free call and let’s talk about you and your business. You can do that here: time with Christine.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and is not legal, tax or financial advice. For information regarding your particular situation, contact an attorney or a tax or financial professional. The information in this newsletter is provided with the understanding that it does not render legal, accounting, tax or financial advice. In specific cases, clients should consult their legal, accounting, tax or financial professional. This article is not intended to give advice or to represent our firm as being qualified to give advice in all areas of professional services. Exit Planning is a discipline that typically requires the collaboration of multiple professional advisors. To the extent that our firm does not have the expertise required on a particular matter, we will always work closely with you to help you gain access to the resources and professional advice that you need.
Any examples provided are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. Examples include fictitious names and do not represent any particular person or entity.