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Many small business owners prepare themselves for their exit and forget to prepare the business. That can make for a very tough transition for the business, clients, team, and suppliers. All of these challenges are avoidable if you prepare the business for the exit transaction as well as yourself.
Things to think about when preparing to transition your business:
- Have you assessed the readiness of your business to transition?
- Are your finances cleaned up?
- Do your finances match the value of your business?
- What is your timeline?
- Who do you see as a prospective buyer of your business (competitor, supplier, customer, family member, key employee, no idea)?
Things to think about once you’ve considered the options available for transitioning your business:
- Complete a business valuation. How does this compare to what you thought it would be?
- How can you improve the business’s value over the next five years?
- Are your key employees ready for the transition?
- Prepare your buyer. Share information early to prepare the buyer and the business for transition.
- Commercial Loan Officers
- Chris Kebalka, Savings Bank of Walpole
- Andrew Richardson, Savings Bank of Walpole
- Brokers – using a broker costs ~10% of the sale price, but keeps the tire kickers away from the seller
- Wealth advisor – for developing transition and wealth building strategies for your business
- Mark Levesque at Charles Schwab in Nashua, NH
- CPA – for clean books, audit, a Quality of Earnings report, due diligence preparations, and deal structure strategy
- Tax strategist – for providing strategies to minimize taxes owed within the scope of the law
- Carlotta Thompson & Associates (virtual)
- Insurance broker – for key man insurance, transaction liability insurance, etc.
- Transaction attorney – for overseeing the legal ownership transition of the business
- McLane Middleton (NH)
- Devine Millimet & Branch (NH)
- Cook Little Rosenblatt & Manson (NH)
- Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson (ME & NH)
- Exit planning advisors – for advising you through your exit from the business
- Jane Johnson (MA) & Laura Kevghas (Keene, NH) at Alliance Private Wealth
- Business Valuator – for performing your business valuation
- Chris Wheeler at Oster & Wheeler