• Consider many options. Such options include: selling the business to family members or trusted employees, selling to a third party or liquidation.
• Begin planning early. The most successful planning starts five to 10 years before you want to actually transition out of your business.
• Assemble a transition team. This should include your attorney, accountant and other critical advisors like your banker, insurance provider, etc.
• Set “life” goals. Exit planning is a proactive process that takes control of the future of your business. So, decide what you want to see happen with the business while you’re alive with help from any advisors.
• Assess all assets. Determine the cash value of your business before any decisions are made.
• Identify key players in a business. Determine which leaders will comprise future management and what role such benefits as incentive plans, profit sharing and more have.
• Train future leaders. Training needs for the next generation of management should be assessed and planned.
• Plan for the unexpected. A succession plan should include “contingencies” in case of death or other emergencies.
• Monitor and allow for flexibility. A succession plan should be monitored and revisited over time to be sure it is working and to make any necessary adjustments.
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