Do you know that succession or exit planning has been identified by small/medium enterprise operators as one of the key issues for business success, in various surveys over the last 15 years?
ESS BIZTOOLS has developed a full product package on succession or exit strategies, to assist accountants/advisors to deliver a full range of services to small/medium enterprises.
In fact, the ESS BIZTOOLS’ package includes questionnaires so that you can get input from your clients – the owners, directors, Board of Advice members (if the business has them), the management team and the team members themselves – so that they can answer a series of questions on where they perceive the business, in which they are very closely involved, is going.
Then there’s a further set of questionnaires relating to the business itself. What’s the key attributes of the business? Where’s the Intellectual Property filed? How much Intellectual Property is in the owner of the business’ head?
What are the succession issues? Are there family members in the business who have aspirations to be owning and also managing the business? Remember, those two issues can be split into an ownership group and a management group. In some cases, it might be decided to skip a generation if there’s no one within the family who wants to have the responsibility of being the CEO for the next decade. Perhaps it’s a good idea to bring in an outside management person to be the CEO and the long-term plan would be that a grandchild of a founder may very well be groomed to ultimately be the CEO of the business.
Another very important question for the owner of the business is: will they have enough money to retire or are they relying on the business being sold with a major cash payment being made to them, so that they can retire with dignity?
Another consideration is, should the directors be considering attempting to raise capital as a Crowd Sourced Funding Company so that sufficient cash is available to enable the retiring owner or part-owner to be paid out with the business continuing with members of the family still involved as shareholders jointly with other investors.
The succession system also includes a personal due diligence list, which encourages the person for whom the succession planning strategy is being determined, to go through and answer various pertinent questions.