David V. Jean CPA, CCIFP, CExP, Principal, Albin, Randall & Bennett; Frederick L. Lipp, Shareholder, Bernstein Shur; and Steven E. Tenney, CEPA®, Founding Partner, Great Diamond Partners presented to the New Hampshire Business Review audience on succession planning. Watch the recording on the NHBR website and enjoy our overview below.
The Art of Early Succession Planning
In this webinar, David V. Jean, CPA, CCIFP, CExP, Principal and Succession Planning Services Team Leader at ARB, underscored the pivotal role of early preparation in securing a business legacy and optimizing transactional value. David highlighted the myriad benefits and underscored the common barriers faced by business owners in this critical process.
Early Planning: A Foundation for Success
David advocates for the early initiation of succession planning. He articulates that foresight in planning not only significantly enhances the business’s value but also paves the way for a seamless and efficient transition. Early planning enables business owners to identify and address value gaps and potential hurdles, ensuring a smooth transition that aligns with the interests of all stakeholders.
The Tangible Benefits of Being Proactive
The benefits of early planning are manifold. David points out that it substantially elevates the company’s value and ensures preparedness, making the eventual transition not just faster but smoother. This proactive approach is particularly crucial in the world of business succession, where costly mistakes can have lasting repercussions. David emphasizes that the stakes are high, as most business owners will navigate this path only once.
Navigating the Barriers
Despite the clear advantages, David acknowledges the barriers that often deter business owners from engaging in early succession planning. He delves into the psychological barriers – the reluctance to think about retirement, the fear of relinquishing control, and the apprehensions about the future. David also highlights practical obstacles such as a lack of awareness about transfer options and the perceived complexities of the process.
A Roadmap to Effective Succession Planning
To navigate these challenges, David proposes a structured approach to kickstart the succession planning process. He suggests establishing a clear target date for scaling down or exiting the business and understanding the financial implications post-exit. Identifying the right successor—be it a family member, a key employee, or an unrelated third party—is also pivotal. Lastly, David stresses the importance of assembling a multidisciplinary advisory team to ensure a holistic and well-rounded exit plan.
In conclusion, David Jean’s insights offer a clear roadmap for business owners. He outlines a path to successful succession planning and highlights the importance of a proactive and well-informed approach. By embracing early planning, business owners can not only secure their legacy but also ensure that their exit from the business world is as strategic and rewarding as their tenure.
Frederick Lipp’s Guide to Thoughtful Business Succession
Frederick Lipp, JD spoke about the path to crafting a lasting business legacy, emphasizing the need for strategic succession planning. Fred’s erudite narrative, rich with examples and practical advice, lays out a blueprint for business owners to transition their life’s work into a lasting legacy.
Intentionality at the Heart of Legacy
Fred underscores the essence of intentionality in legacy creation. Drawing from the success stories of professional athletes and iconic brands, Fred encourages business owners to visualize and articulate their legacy with clarity and conviction.
Fostering Loyalty and Value
The bedrock of a lasting business, according to Fred, lies in the loyalty and value cultivated within the team. He discusses innovative ways to nurture this loyalty, from profit-sharing schemes and stock options to fostering a culture of respect and recognition. Fred asserts that a team that feels valued and has a stake in the company’s success is instrumental in perpetuating the business’s legacy.
Branding, Intellectual Property, and Joint Ventures
In a marketplace that’s increasingly competitive, Fred stresses the importance of a strong brand and robust intellectual property as pivotal in maximizing transactional value. He advocates for embracing the creative economy, expanding into international markets, and exploring joint venture opportunities to amplify the business’s value and reach.
A Proactive Stance on Business Readiness
Fred advises business owners to adopt a proactive stance in shoring up any business weaknesses. He proposes a meticulous approach, utilizing comprehensive checklists to ensure that every facet of the business is robust and ready for a potential transition.
The Role of Advisory Boards
Navigating the complex waters of business succession often requires external perspectives. Fred champions the formation of advisory boards, composed of seasoned professionals, to provide objective insights and discreet assistance in identifying potential buyers or partners.
Estate Planning and Strategic Sale Positioning
Recognizing the intricacies of estate planning in the context of business, Fred emphasizes the importance of a thoughtful approach. He suggests the use of revocable trusts and the appointment of business trustees to ensure that the business thrives even in the owner’s absence. Furthermore, Fred discusses the art of positioning the company for a strategic sale, ensuring that the transaction aligns with the owner’s vision and desired legacy.
Embracing the Future Post-Transaction
In conclusion, Fred encourages business owners to not only celebrate their success post-transaction but also to embrace the future with a vision that aligns with their legacy. Whether it’s through continued involvement in the business world or embarking on new ventures, Fred stresses the importance of moving forward in a manner that reflects the owner’s values and aspirations.
Frederick Lipp reminds us that the true worth of a business lies not just in its financial valuation, but in the legacy it leaves behind, resonating through generations.
Resources from Great Diamond Partners are available on the website.