Succession Planning

We excel at guiding your business or family through the various stages of succession planning. Our comprehensive team at Serviss Wealth Management has the ability to be successful with every scenario. Regardless if the situation entails a buyout from a competitor, the transition of a specific employee or a family owned business; our strategic alliance relationships can help you make sense of every step along the way.

Rest assured that we have the necessary resources at hand to ensure a smooth transition; even if you feel your situation is so unique, or we have yet to work on a similar case.


Why a Succession Plan is Vital

Planning to pass your hard earned company on to family or business, or perhaps an employee interested in taking over? We understand. Let us help you simultaneously minimize your closing costs while maximizing your sale proceeds. A well thought out succession plan is essential for small to medium sized businesses and family-owned endeavors.

No one understands your company the way you do; therefore, expect your successor to undergo some transition time, even a potential learning curve. They will need to prove that they are able to lead the company once you are no longer involved. Key items to consider include:

  • Timing the transfer of the business to minimize tax
  • Deciding on a successor who is the right fit for your business
  • Figuring out if you will remain as a consultant for a certain time period
  • Whether or not a family trust or holding company can be beneficial to the transition

By taking the time to prepare and implement a succession strategy, you can rest assured the company will be in adequate hands once you retire. This will help to ensure the best possible end result for every party involved. Getting the facts down ahead of time can make it easier to decide when the most beneficial time to sell will be.


Health and Age Considerations

For many individuals, their health and age are common factors with the sale timing. If you have a sudden health concern arise, being forced to sell due to these concerns can pressure you into taking an offer lower than your business is worth. This is a dangerous situation that you do not want to be a part of.


Develop a Plan for Post Retirement

Retiring can be an emotional and frightening concept to embrace for some individuals; especially those who have lived and breathed their business for numerous years. Take some time to explore what you will be doing once your official retirement begins.

Preparing your after work plan ahead of time can often make the choice to retire much easier. Objectively analyzing your business details when you still have some time can help you determine the best year to sell your business. Pre-planning can ensure that you receive the value you expect, instead of settling for less.


Team Approach Benefits

Once you are ready to consider selling your business, seek professional advice to cover all of the details. Unbiased experts can help you evaluate and place a realistic value on your business. Ideally, you want to structure the sale to maximize your return. You can explore options to help reduce capital gains tax and view options for selling assets or company shares.

Your business advisor can offer invaluable insight into your situation. By working together with your lawyer and accountant, an entire team of professionals can work with you to make sure that your sale expectations are met.


Selling Your Business

Deciding when the right time to move on is can be much easier when you are working alongside a team you respect. It can be hard to decide to sell your business after the years you have spent building your company; however, timing everything correctly can really pay off.

It is important to correctly estimate the worth of your business. Deciding at the right moment can enable you to achieve the value you feel is appropriate. The last thing you want to do is entertain offers that are substantially less. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering this dramatic change.


Why Is It the Right Time for You to Sell?

In order to make sure that you are selling because the situation is right for you, some soul searching is required. Get to the heart of why you are thinking about selling by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Am I still excited to go to work every morning?
  • Am I still passionate about my business?
  • Am I still influenced by the financial motivators that give me the determination to succeed?
  • Am I feeling exhausted and tired?
  • Are my interests the same or have they changed?

It is common for businesses to thrive when owners feel motivated and energetic. If however, you are drained and or moving onto other interests, both your business and you can suffer. Answering these questions can help determine if it is time to sell your business.


The Selling Time-Frame

Remember, it may take awhile to sell your company. Use this time to create an exit strategy that is well thought out and effective. This is a complex process and you will want to correctly evaluate your business in order to obtain the best selling price.

It can take up to a few years to sell a strong company. You need to ensure your sales are maximized and that your financials are clean and organized. The right buyer needs to become available and a variety of adjustments may need to take place. Each side is responsible to do their own due diligence.


Strategically Positioning Your Company for the Best Return

It is common for potential buyers to request to review five years of audited financial statements and tax returns. Prior to committing to the sale, they will be scrutinizing your balance sheet looking for positive numbers and income growth. Some of the key items they will be looking for include:

  • Strong retained earnings
  • Controlled expenses
  • Year over year sales increases
  • A good team in place with motivated employees
  • Evidence of forward thinking and innovation
  • Satisfied clientele providing repeat business

It is vital to position your company prior to the sale. If you have not planned accurately, you may not be ready when the right buyer comes along. You have a better chance of gaining the value you expect from your business by working to strengthen the aforementioned attributes prior to listing the sale.