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If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

Most business owners do a terrible job when it comes to selling or otherwise transitioning from their businesses.  Consequently, they are leaving tremendous amounts of money on the table.  Consider the following statistics from a recent Exit Planning Institute (EPI) survey.

  • 80% to 90% of most business owners’ financial assets are bound up in the business itself.  Given the significance of this asset in the average owner’s wealth portfolio, the ability to monetize this wealth at some point will have a significant impact on the owner’s financial security and lifestyle once he or she exits the business.
  • 50% of all business exits are not voluntary­—that is to say, not on the owner’s terms or timeline.  One of the five D’s (death, disability, divorce, distress, disagreement) is most often the contributing factor.
  • 75% of businesses that go up for sale, never sell.
  • 70% of family businesses don’t survive past the second generation.

These statistics are alarming.  Good exit planning asks and answers all of the business, personal, financial, legal, and tax planning questions involved in transitioning a business by combining planning, strategies, and concepts with process.  One last statistic from the survey–83% of all business owners do not have a written transition plan in place.  Benjamin Franklin said it best, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.  The knowledge and tools exist to make sure that you end up on the right side of the above statistics.  Now is the time to get educated.

About the Author

Brent Engelbrekt is an M&A Advisor with Sunbelt Business Advisor, the largest seller of companies in Minnesota.  As a current and former business owner he has started, built and exited his own companies.

Brent is also a Certified Exit Planning Advisor.  The CEPA credential is issued by EPI, another acronym, this one referring to the Exit Planning Institute.  EPI is a worldwide industry association dedicated to producing better outcomes for private business owners seeking to transition from their businesses.