"All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine." - Jim Rohn

Peg Buehrle Mark Daniels PEte McDowell

Exit Planning

What happens to the business when you retire? It's never too early to develop a succession plan.

We asked our most successful clients in many different industries "what advice can you give to business owners that you wish that you knew when you started?" Much to our surprise, every single one gave the same advice:

Start your business with the end in mind.

Why? Because every day we witness business owners who have worked for their success their whole lives, and often the whole lives of their parents or even grandparents, having to just walk away and liquidate the business when the owner has to walk away. This could be due to retirement, or unfortunately the owner is just not able to work anymore due to illness or injury.

What is a succession plan, though?

Attorneys will tell you that it is a legal document that lays out the steps that need to happen in the event that the owner retires. CPA's will tell you that it is a plan for how to sell the business and minimize the tax burden when the business is sold or transferred. And financial planners will tell you that it's a plan for how to ensure your financial future and the financial legacy of your family for many years to come. Is all of that important? Absolutely. In fact, we work with some of the brightest Attorneys, CPA's, and Financial Planners in the business when developing a succession plan.

We have a different approach. Taking all of the legalities, tax obligations, and financial plans together, we also help you develop a long-term plan for how the transition is going to happen. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are your future leaders ready to take on a new challenge? Do they need leadership and business education?
  • Do your children or family successors want the business? Do they have similar styles to you?
  • Is the vision and mission of the business well communicated to your successors?
  • Are your employees embracing change and aligned to take on the future growth?
  • Does your business run seamlessly without you, the owner, there every day?
  • Could you take a 6-month vacation and still have a profitable business when you returned?

The ideal time to start your succession plan? About 7-10 years before it happens. But it's never too late to develop a retirement plan for your small business.

Schedule a complimentary consultation with our award-winning coaches today. Your legacy can be intact for many years to come.


The key to successful exit planning? Getting the right people advocating for you.


Your business coach is the quarterback that guides the leadership team through many crucial steps:

  • The GOAL-SETTING process including a target date, approximate financial requirement, legacy desires, and intermediate goals
  • Evaluating the positives and negatives of each of the 4 primary SUCCESSION ALTERNATIVES: Sell to a third party, ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), Transfer to Family, or Transfer to Existing Employees
  • Establishing ORGANIZATION CHARTS for the various stages of succession preparation
  • Identify key hiring objectives and assist with screening, interviewing, HIRING AND ONBOARDING new employees
  • Develop and implement EMPLOYEE RETENTION systems
  • EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT plans are in place and progressing for all key staff
  • Accountability for PROGRESS with delegating key tasks to team
  • INTERNAL COMMUNICATION processes including meetings are sufficient and effective. These may include annual, quarterly, monthly weekly and daily meetings.
  • Transfer of key trade partner, vendor, client and other strategic RELATIONSHIPS to others
  • BUSINESS GROWTH and profit plan is executed and successful
  • Ensure the business owner(s) have a TRANSITION PLAN that includes their future legacy


Your attorney is the liability risk manager, the member of your team that assures that you are following the rules and securing your future in the most advantageous way.:

  • Develop and execute adequate ESTATE PLANNING PROCESSES & DOCUMENTS so your wishes are communicated clearly to all stakeholders.
  • Ensure all APPLICABLE LAWS are being followed, and every advantage is being gained
  • Work alongside the CPA to MINIMIZE THE TAX CONSEQUENCES of the business transfer


Your accountant is your financial risk manager, one of the members of your team that assures that you are following the rules and minimizing any tax burden either you or your successors may share.

  • Ensure company FINANCIAL STATEMENTS are accurate and prepared on time
  • Work alongside the Attorney to MINIMIZE THE TAX CONSEQUENCES of the business transfer
  • Educate the business owners with respect to applicable TAX CONSIDERATIONS


Your financial advisor is your personal advocate as the business owner, assuring that your financial needs and the needs of your family are met long into retirement.

  • Create a comprehensive PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLAN with the business owners
  • Develop realistic and measurable FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES
  • Ensure an accurate and detailed estimate of the business owners FAMILY NEEDS post transition


Your banker is a crucial part of your succession team, providing lending to execute your exit plan.

  • Evaluate and assist with providing FUNDING to the business or the employees who are going to purchase the business.