Planning your exit
It’s never too early to consider your exit strategy from your business. Although shorter term objectives of establishing your business and increasing your profitability may be your initial focus, it’s also important to consider your longer-term strategy for exiting or selling your business. Our Corporate Finance team can help you prepare for selling your business and offer advice to realise the full value of your company. We also have access to a wide network of potential buyers.
Making sure your business is ‘ready to sell’ is a key factor in the ultimate success of your investment. It always adds value to be prepared! Be sure to get your business in perfect shape to help prepare for a stress-free transition.
Think about your long-term goals, both personally and professionally. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? What would you like your retirement to look like? Who are the best people to take over if you have to step away from the business suddenly? And how can you best prepare them for the task?
One of the most important elements of succession planning is clear and timely communication. Be sure to keep key stakeholders, business partners, employees, and family members involved in the planning process early and often.
What are you planning to do with your business? Sell to an investor, wind down, pass on to the next generation or perhaps undertake a management buy-out? Before you consider any of these options, you need to review your business operations and assess your processes, ownership structure and legal requirements.
There are additional considerations beyond the financials, including customer and supplier contracts, data security, property leases and intellectual property.
There are a number of tax planning incentives to help retain key staff members (and potential future leaders of your business). In addition, employers can design benefits packages which provide employees what they really want, without costing the employer a fortune.
Business based performance, job specific or corporate profits can be valuable, as can share schemes where a pay-out is made if a business is sold. If a business is to be sold, what better way to motivate staff if they can get a share based on improved performance?
Understand what you want out of your life now and when you retire. You can then plan for the lifestyle you want, including a healthy pension pot. Proper tax planning for you and your business will help you achieve your goals.
Bring in help
Once you’ve tackled the big questions, your next step should be to seek planning advice from professionals. This should involve your accountant, lawyer, business adviser and independent financial adviser.
Your lead advisers will help you to identify buyers, aid in preparation and ensure you achieve the best price. You will also need to review the tax considerations, and structure your deal accordingly.