There are a staggering number of business owners now preparing for retirement and a sale of their company. Exit planning specialists to support this growing market are also on the rise, and they generally recommend the following approach: establish a team of experts to look at different aspects of the business and the transaction. You don't want an accountant doing your legal work, and you don't want a lawyer running your operations. You want specialists in each area to tap their expertise and get you the most value for your business, coming in just when you need them for short-term support - another perfect synergy with part-time executives.
According to Transfer2020.org, the conservative number of boomer-owned businesses that will be available for sale (with owners 57 years old and older right now) in the next five to ten years will be between 1.3 million and 2 million firms. All of those firms need succession planning, operational support, and transaction specialists as they prepare to exit.
In our recent blog, Getting Your House In Order for the Successful Transition Planning Institute, we outlined the benefit of doing some operational organization before you formally enter the due diligence phase. Investing a small of amount of money and time in the 6 month period before you begin your transaction can lead to better operational efficiencies, a higher value for your business, and a smoother transition for the company and the owner.
The exiting business owner gets the highest possible value for their company, and is actually a perfect candidate to become a part-time executive themselves. A second career to help the next generation of business owners achieve their own success.
Debbie Millin is President of UpperLevel Solutions - a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim Chief Operating Officer services, operational assessments as a health check or as part of due diligence,
and executive project leadership.