May 2017

Your Business, Your Future

In this issue, we'll take a look at an opportunity that a lot of our clients are thinking about: The possible sale or other transition of their business in the coming years. Here at Stewart Law, we use a multi-step process that we believe can help achieve great results on big projects like this.

Our process involves first identifying your ideal outcomes. In the context of dealing with your business, you should think about why you have a business in the first place. The motivations likely go well beyond the financial resources it provides your family. In other words, if your business were converted to an amount of liquid assets that left your family in a similar place financially, you would still notice many differences in your lifestyle and otherwise. These non-financial factors are probably the reason many owners retain ownership well past normal retirement age. However, if you can see both a great lifestyle for yourself at the end of the process and important uses for your financial resources after transition of your business, you'll have new enthusiasm for this endeavor.

The next step may seem counterintuitive, but it really can be a key: What are the obstacles? Why wouldn't your plan produce the wonderful results you desire? Identifying these possible roadblocks is important because it allows you both to communicate all of your concerns and develop solutions. These solutions are laser focused on the impediments that you know you may run into along the way. In a sense, the more of these potential "problems" that you can express early in the game, the better your chances of a successful outcome because you'll already have strategies to avoid most of the pitfalls.

With your ideal outcome in mind, and strategies in hand to ensure its achievement, you are ready to develop a written plan for the successful transition of your business. With input from your financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and other advisors, you can help ensure the plan will, in fact, achieve all of your goals.

The final step we recommend is communicating the plan to the right people. Depending on your circumstances, these may include family members, advisors, employees and others. Communicating the plan solidifies it for you and allows those around you to help bring it into reality.