Follow our eight-point plan to facilitate your eventual succession and exit-from-business strategy.
It’s no picnic trying to increase business value by growing Earnings before Interest and Tax [EBIT] while de-risking your operating model to get there. But these two performance criteria are critical to a successful succession plan. Strong corporate governance, including effective financial management, will improve your chances for success during this difficult economic climate. These points below may sound obvious, but our experience shows that very few boards have noted them all or shared them amongst senior management.
- Determine an unbiased valuation of your business so you can capitalise on it, if the opportunity arises. Identify what’s up for sale. The whole business? Or can you sell components as a Bolt on for another competitor?
- Identify your goodwill and IP, and patent it if need be. This could include: brands, know how/systems, databases, recipes, software, contracts, licences, location, royalty agreements, technology, staff, etc. Know and value them – they will be your capital gain.
- Agree on an exit timetable and what must be done within that time frame.
- Transfer the personal goodwill to the business. This takes time and now is a great period to find that next star performer. At some stage you need to step back or replace yourself. It’s best to do it before you sell the business rather than on sale date.
- Identify your preferred succession option (e.g. an external party sale, related party sale, management buy-out, or generational handover) and have a Plan B.
- Create an enduring marketing plan and identify or develop that unique selling point (USP). Will this stand up in the ever-changing environment?
- Embrace technology with a view to the future. Look beyond just software and computers, and assess your current operational capacity. The labour market has freed up, but long term we face a shrinking labour market as Baby Boomers retire. Is your current business model sustainable?
- Review plant and equipment. Is it time for re-investment rather than repairs? A buyer will look at the quality of assets on sale. Can yours cope with expansion and ongoing revenue growth?
The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, please contact us.