Finding the path to a successful exit

Sales to key employees, employee stock ownership plans, transfers to children, and sales to third parties can all be excellent exit strategies for business owners when it comes time to sell. But if you find yourself wondering which of these is right for you, you may be like the car buyer who asks if the Lincoln, Cadillac or Lexus is the best vehicle. There can be no right answer without more information about you and your specific needs and goals.

When a business owner asks questions like this out of the blue, it can indicate that his plan for exiting the business is adrift, or that his advisors lack experience in developing a coordinated approach to preparing for the future. They have not asked the questions necessary to start the owner on the path to a successful business exit.

In order to know which route is best, we need to understand what goals a business owner wants to achieve. It's our job to ask you the right questions, so that you are able to clarify your goals and develop an exit strategy that enables you to achieve them.

"The Charter Group can help you get started, whether you are planning to exit 5, 10, or 15 years from now. The important thing is to get your plan in place."

We recommend beginning your exit planning journey with two things: 1) a road map and 2) an experienced guide. The Charter Group can provide you with both. We serve business owners throughout the Midwest with comprehensive M&A, valuation and exit planning advisory services. We ask the right questions so that you know where you are going, who is going to help you get there, and the route you are going to take.

Who should be on your advisory team?
Your exit planning advisory team should consist of the following professionals:

  • M&A / Exit Planning Advisor
  • Attorney / Estate Planning
  • Tax Advisor / CPA
  • Financial Planner
  • Insurance Professional
  • Valuation Expert

Why should I have all of these advisors?
First, no one professional has all of the answers. The issues you face in exiting your company are complex and will require input from professionals in a number of disciplines. For example, an accountant skilled in exit planning brings a host of skills (especially tax minimizing techniques) to the process that your attorney may not possess and vice versa. In addition to being skilled in a particular practice area, each advisor should also be familiar with, and better yet, experienced in exit planning and should know how to work for you as a member of an advisory team.

Lawyers and CPAs are expensive. Won't this team cost me more money?
Assembling and meeting with your advisory team not only facilitates the exchange of information and ideas, but it can reduce your costs by increasing the efficiency of each advisor. Instead of your advisors proceeding in a disjointed and inefficient manner, have a single meeting with all advisors present to coordinate everyone's efforts.

How do I assemble my team?
Many business owners have worked with most of these professionals individually in the past. But no one advisor can guide you through this process alone. The Charter Group can help you assemble your team charged with a common goal: helping you to leave your business in style.

For 24 years and via 400+ successful transactions, The Charter Group has helped business owners optimize ROI throughout a business's most important transitions, from inception through growth and eventual sale. A leading M&A advisor, we specialize in transactions ranging from $10 million to $100 million. Whether you're ready to buy, grow, or sell your business, The Charter Group will skillfully guide you to what's next.