Most business owners think there’s one way to generate liquidity from their business – to sell it. However, that’s one of MANY options, and in our experience, it’s often not the best one. We can help you navigate complex variables and choose a path that best fits with your personal and professional goals.

Marc Lewyn CEO, Strategic Liquidity Services at GV

The Reality of Selling Your Business

It could be called the holy grail of entrepreneurship: selling your company and retiring without worry. Yet in a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study, 75% of owners who sold regretted their decision a year later, and only 5% were happy with their net proceeds.1

A year after selling their businesses:

  • 75% regretted the decision
  • 25% didn’t regret the decision
  • 5% were happy with the net proceeds

Why the regret? In our experience, many business owners start exploring their options when they are referred to a lawyer, investment banker or other subject-matter expert whose expertise typically lies in one specific area. That can create the classic “when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail” problem, and it can limit your options instead of expanding them.

Developing a sound exit strategy is even more complex in a family business: only about 30% of these companies survive to the next generation and only 13% live to 60 years.2 Consider these dilemmas:

  • A family business can be a tremendous source of pride and wealth. It can also create challenges you probably know well …

  • Family business challenges:

    • Ongoing conflict over whether to re-invest in the company or pay out dividends to family members
    • Other family members are naturally concerned about dilution of their ownership interest if you need outside funding or expertise
    • Feelings of entitlement among the next generation (“They feel like they have a birthright to revenue,” one entrepreneur bluntly told us)

  • More family business challenges:

    • High levels of underlying emotion and competition among family members – which often have nothing to do with the business itself!
    • Is every family member in the right seat on the bus? And is their presence always in the best interest of the business?
    • Limited growth opportunity for non-family members

  • We can help you navigate a path to liquidity...

    …that may work better for all than simply selling or transferring ownership to the next generation as the default option. For example, you – the owner or founder – may be able to generate the money you need to feel secure AND keep the business going strong for your children, employees and future generations.

Feeling Confused Or Anxious? You’re Not Alone.

You’re facing one of the most difficult decisions a business owner can make. It affects your life in the most significant and mundane ways, and you probably have just one chance to get it right. We understand the conflicting variables you’re grappling with:

Pros

PROS

Common reasons to exit  

  • I want or need the cash
  • I’m tired or frustrated
  • It’s a smart diversification strategy
  • I enjoyed building more than managing
  • I’m ready to end the family pressure
  • My children are ready to take over
  • The economy/industry/market is ripe
  • My friends/colleagues are retiring – it seems like my time
  • I want out before a downturn
  • I’m concerned that family can’t sustain the business
  • I’m ready to enjoy life
  • I’m ready for a new challenge
Cons

CONS

Concerns or potential regrets  

  • I love my work – what will I do next?
  • I feel pressure that may cloud my decision
  • I may not be able to sell
  • I’m worried about valuation, proceeds & taxes
  • Will I be able to live the life I want?
  • I don’t want my employees/family to lose their jobs
  • My children aren’t ready to take over
  • I don’t want a buyer becoming my boss
  • I can’t watch someone change or destroy what I built
  • Will my marriage survive if we’re suddenly so…together?
  • Will I lose my status in the community?
  • Will I lose my connections?
  • There goes my income stream and all my perks….
  • I can’t find an impartial professional to advise me
  • What if I can’t do it again?

We’ll Guide You Through Your Options

Whether you want to walk away completely, unlock maximum value, or just free up some time and assets, we can help. We’ve created “Strategic Liquidity Services” (aka “SLS”) to guide you through this complex life decision as a neutral party focused on the big picture. We help you consider your options in the context of what works best for you as the owner. How would you really like to live? Do you want to continue in the business and/or pass it to your children? What do you want and need in your personal life?

Remember, selling is only one option; we believe there are multiple ways you can unlock wealth:

  • Auction
  • ESOP
  • The Charitable Put-Call Plan
  • Tax Opportunities
  • Captive Insurance
  • The Charitable Bailout Plan
  • Recapitalization

How It Works

  • Exploratory Meeting

    Exploratory Meeting

    We’ll discuss your situation to determine how, whether, and when we can help.

  • Uncover Your Liquidity Options

    Uncover Your Liquidity Options

    Now we apply our life event experience: Where are you today, where do you want to go, and what opportunities and barriers do you see? We’ll conduct a business evaluation, identify hidden problems, and discuss your life priorities and personal/professional expectations.

  • Identify Creative Opportunities

    Identify Creative Opportunities

    Next we help you get more specific about which option feels best for you. Steps include a creative “what if” meeting, mapping of options, due diligence, risk/ROI analyses, and, if you desire, introductions to subject-matter experts (attorneys, accountants, investment bankers, etc.) we believe can execute the components of your transaction.

  • Move Forward With Confidence

    Move Forward With Confidence

    When you’re confident and ready, we’ll meet to discuss your decision and plans for the next phase. As your team of experts works with you, we’re available as a neutral party to translate their advice, answer questions, and help keep you focused on your priorities and values.

Potential Benefits

Personal, Professional and Financial

  • Retain Control
  • Enhance Personal Wealth
  • Quiet Your Tax Concerns
  • Achieve Your Succession Goals
  • Get the Advice You Need
  • Explore More Options
  • Reduce Financial Unknowns
  • Focus on What Matters Most

1 PricewaterhouseCoopers / Exit Planning Institute study of former business owners, 2012-2013.

2 Family Owned Businesses – Encyclopedia – Business Terms, Inc.com. Retrieved Jan 27, 2015.

It’s Not Too Early To Explore Your Options

If this subject is on your mind, contact us – it’s never too early to consider and plan.

We’d love to hear from you! Call us now or send us a message – we’ll respond shortly.

770-295-5600

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