Thursday, May 26, 2016

Top Six Reasons Business Owners Should Meet With A Financial Planner

“I take you … to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

This marriage vow can be easily confused with the verbal commitment many entrepreneurs make to their business.  I know how important your business is to you. After all, I am married to a farmer.  Whether you are looking to become engaged to a new business or are exiting a present business relationship, you face a huge undertaking.  When I heard Alison Anderson share her story about her newly-formed business, I was intrigued by her intuitive need to help others buy or sell theirs. I can confidently say that if you know someone who is looking to do either, buy or sell, you will want to point them to SuccessionMatching, a “dating service” which matches buyers and sellers.  Alison has graciously allowed her story to be reprinted at my blog website.

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Six years ago I had a client at Community Futures who was looking for a way to sell his plumbing business without disrupting it in the process.  He knew it was going to be difficult to find a buyer while maintaining the strong working relationships he had with his suppliers, staff and customers. It occurred to me then that this was a problem many business owners were going to face in the near future. Eventually, it is a problem every business owner will face.

I decided then to take an economic development approach to succession planning and built to address this problem. We are an online platform that allows business owners to actively search for buyers while maintaining control over privacy. We also connect site members with economic development officers who can provide resources and advice on where to start their transition plans.

There are three types of succession plans: family transition, employee share ownership programs and third party sales. Over the past five years, I have facilitated many succession plans, gone on speaking tours, and worked directly with clients within all three types of succession plans. From these experiences I have documented trends and pain-points familiar to thousands of business owners who are going through the succession planning process. SuccessionMatching and Community Futures Saskatchewan have partnered to put together a free step by step road map for business and farm transitions:

It is important to involve the right professionals throughout the succession planning process to help ensure the transition goes smoothly and maximize retirement funds from the sale. One of the key advisors that all business and farm owners need to meet with is their Financial Planner.

Here are six top reasons business owners should meet with a Financial Planner before selling their business:
1. Evaluation of their current financial situation.
2. Identification of retirement goals, places you want to travel and how much to put away (if any) for inheritances.
3. Calculating how much you will need in retirement.
4. Mapping out retirement goals. You have worked hard to build up your business, now is the time to do what you have always wanted to do.
5. Understanding your cash flow and expenses during retirement years.
6. Designing an investment strategy around your changing needs and bringing in necessary experts to accomplish these milestones.

Alison Anderson
CEO, SuccessionMatching

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Alison gladly welcomes feedback on her six points why business owners should talk to a financial planner before they look for a buyer. 


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