Visualize, then plan

Artists will tell you that the best paintings are created when the artist visualizes the painting hanging on the wall before he/she makes a single mark on the canvas. The same is true for selling a business. In order to maximize value, one must start with a vision of what that business is going to look like on the day it is sold.

business people at the table discussing transition planning

What aspects of the business should you be visualizing? There are many answers to that question, among which are the size, the structure, the culture, etc. Once you have visualized these aspects of the plan and you have a clear idea in mind, some of the more specifics can then be documented.

  • How many team members will be required and in what positions?
  • What systems and processes will be required to support the volume, people, etc.?
  • How much financing will be required in order to achieve your vision?

Studies show that when a goal is put down in writing, it is much more likely to be achieved. It’s also true when you’re thinking of selling a business. In documenting your vision and what is needed to achieve it, you will undoubtedly identify some obstacles or deficiencies along the way. The beauty of developing a succession plan well in advance of your target retirement date is that an action plan can address any deficiencies before they become serious issues that affect the salability of your business. It also clearly communicates the role of each stakeholder going forward, and can serve as a contract between stakeholders to support the plan.

“An action plan can address any deficiencies before they become serious issues that affect the salability of your business.”

A detailed review of the current position of the business and a visualization of its future is absolutely necessary. It will help you identify any obstacles that may prevent you from realizing the full value of your business. An effective action plan will identify the tasks that need to be done, the persons taking ownership of the tasks and deadlines for achieving the goals. The plan should also be malleable, to adapt periodically to the changing needs and objectives of all stakeholders involved. Checking in on the plan will also ensure it’s up to date and working smoothly. This helps implement needed changes consistently, and ensures buy-in from everyone involved.

How we can help you

When we say our approach is holistic, we mean it. It’s centered around you. Not just your company; not only your legacy, you. We advise business owners and their families both personally and professionally. Our professionals, (from wealth management, valuations, taxation and estates, to various other service lines) work collaboratively to provide advice that makes the most sense for you and your objectives – because we know that your work affects your personal life, and vice versa – they are of equal importance. Through early, comprehensive planning, our professionals assess every situation and present options to help you make informed, strategic decisions to make the most out of your unique situation.

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