Exit Planning vs Business Planning vs Succession Planning

Exit Planning vs Business Planning vs Succession Planning

February 05, 2018

One of the most frequent points of confusion I see amongst business owners and their advisors is what various types of planning accomplish. Whenever I speak to CPAs, attorneys, and financial advisors, I try to help bring clarity to this terminology because misunderstandings on these issues can have dramatic impacts on an advisor’s ability to help a business owner client achieve their goals.

For example, I’ve heard many insurance and financial advisors claim they do “business planning.” By this, they often mean insurance implementation for what I call “Business Continuity Planning.” But, a business owner or accountant may consider “business planning” to be the process of aligning objectives with company values and mission, and subsequently designing strategies and action items to accomplish specific objectives. These two processes are both valuable, but could hardly be more different.

Likewise, I find many M&A professionals and other business advisors discuss succession planning: the process of transferring business ownership, and likely management, to a successor owner. Because every owner will, one day, exit their business, succession planning is critically important to achieving owner objectives. However, many succession planning conversations happen in a vacuum that ignores the financial and emotional impacts of the plan on an owner’s non-business goals and resources.

In contrast, Exit Planning provides broad consideration of all of these specific topics. It includes, but is more than, continuity planning, business planning, and succession planning. In fact, the process includes seven focus areas designed to equip exit planning advisors and business owners with plans that help owners to leave their business when they want, with the money they need to be financially secure, and to the successor owner(s) they choose.

  • Identify Owner Objectives
  • Quantify Business and Personal Resources
  • Maximize and Protect Business Value
  • Sale of Ownership to a Third Party
  • Transfer Ownership to Insiders
  • Business Continuity: Lifetime and at Death
  • Personal Wealth and Estate Planning

Do you have an Exit Plan? If you’re within 10 years of your target exit date, the time is now! Ask if any of your current advisors are Certified Exit Planners; if so, that individual is uniquely trained and positioned to help coordinate the efforts of your advisor team to support your goals. If you need to add an Exit Planner to your advisor team, reach out to our NYC office at 212-541-8800.

Just after college, Austin experienced profound loss with the early and unexpected death of his father. The positive impact of financial planning for his family eventually led him to pursue a career in financial service, and he joined Wealth Advisory Group in 2013. Austin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville, summa cum laude and has obtained the Retirement Income Certified Professional® designation from The American College. He is a member of the BEI Network of Exit Planning Professionals™ and is a Certified Exit Planner™.

Austin’s practice specializes in risk mitigation and wealth planning for business owners and medical professionals. His team provides expert wealth management, personal planning, and business transition planning for physicians, executives, and entrepreneurs.

Austin Bransgrove is a Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS) is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). PAS is a registered broker-dealer offering investment products, as well as a registered investment adviser offering financial planning and investment advisory services. PAS is a member of FINRA and SIPC. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual circumstances. Wealth Advisory Group LLC is not a registered investment advisor. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. CA License #0L00236