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Why do I need a formal business transition plan?
A formal business transition plan puts your goals, priorities and strategies in place for a successful transition to face the future. Without a clearly defined plan, business owners are leaving their personal and financial future to chance.
I am not sure I am ready to transition out of my business. How do I know when the time is right?
Transitioning out of your business is all about setting and reaching goals. Have you accomplished what you set out to do with your business? Do you have dreams of doing things other than running your current business? Answering these questions will tell you if the time is right to implement a formal business transition plan.
I know my business better than anyone else; why shouldn’t I handle my transition plan and process myself?
Business and personal transition are a complex and personally time consuming and challenging processes that are very difficult to handle by yourself and get it right. Most transition processes involve emotional, fiscal and risk management issues requiring a team of professionals familiar with these areas to take care of them.
Who are the experts on a transition team?
Depending on what phase you are currently in, any of the following professionals may be involved: Accountants, Certified Financial Planners, Lawyers, Business Consultants, Business Brokers, Bankers and so on. To achieve a successful transition plan, all the work required from all the professionals involved shall be coordinated by a Corporate Strategist Expert well familiarized in all the activity fields involved.
Why do I need a transition team?
Simple: you want to maximize your assets. You need experts in every area to help you get the most cash for yourself and your business. Using a transition team will cut down on the enormous amount of time you would otherwise have to spend planning, marketing, talking, negotiating and working to find a potential buyer or partner who might otherwise end up walking away. Unless you have been through a merger, acquisition or divestiture, transition planning and execution are unlike anything you have ever done before.
Why shouldn’t I hire an investment banker or any single professional to handle my transition process?
Other than SSTM, there is no national firm or individual that handles every aspect of a business or personal transition process. And if you have cost issues, you should do a comparison.
Where can I find these experts?
Even if you have an accountant, broker or financial advisor, they may not be uniquely qualified to assist you with the transition. You need experts focused on business transitioning. SSTM will work with you and your team of trusted advisors to identify and provide you with the best choices for each expert.
What information do I need to prepare for my transition?
- Financial documents:
- A minimum of five years of financial documents
- Audited financials for three years
- Pro-forma sales and cash flows for two years out
- Three years of taxes
- Company insurance documents
- Personal financial information (account statements, complete copies of federal and state tax returns, estate documents)
- Customer lists (shows history of longevity)
- Vendor lists and relationships
- Operational systems and procedures for everyone and every part of your business
- Legal corporate documents
- Contracts with vendors, suppliers, customers and clients
- Intellectual property rights and assets
How long does it take to complete a successful transition process?
Typically, depending on your goals, expectations, the nature and size of your business a successful transition process may be completed inside a time-frame of SIX months to FIVE years.
What if I have already completed some parts of the process?
SSTM can become involved at any point of your transition. Our experts will review the work you have already completed, provide recommendations and take the necessary actions to keep or get you on the right track. Even if you have completed your transition, our certified financial planners can help with wealth management.
How do I get started?
The four phases of proper business transition planning are:
- Pre-Sale Phase
- Positioning for Sale
- Transaction Phase
- Wealth Management
Following the above Four Phases of a Successful Business Transition Plan, SSTM uses the following process to guide you through your transition.
- Data gathering
- Initial Expert Team Consultation
- Selection of your team
- Creation and Execution of the Transition Plan
- Successful completion of the transaction
- Wealth management system put in place for a secure financial future
SSTM, helping companies successfully complete business transitions.
J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.