"Begin with the end in mind" that is the motto that Dave Odom spoke about when it comes to determining and designing exit strategies for your business. With over 40 years of experience guiding companies through different exit strategies, Dave stressed the importance of having a long-term plan for your business. Dave brings unique insight into the process of exit strategies from his experiences buying and selling his own businesses, as well as aiding other companies as a Strategic Financial Advisor.
The first company that Dave helped sell was his father's dentistry practice. After experiencing a stroke, Dave's father was forced to give up his life's work and sell his practice. His father was a hard-working man who didn't plan on retiring, which meant that his business was not set up with an adequate exit strategy.
In his years of experience, Dave has encountered many other CEOs just like his father, who are passionate and emotionally invested in their business. Building a business is more than a job, it's often the lifestyle and the life support for many families. But it is also an asset that needs liquidity and strategic planning to give CEOs the option to retire, because you cannot work forever. This was the beginning of Dave's journey into exit planning as he jumped in to help facilitate a successful transition to a new owner of the practice.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 70% of private companies will try to exit in the next 10-15 years, but only 20% of those will be successful. Part of this is due to the large number of baby boomers who are looking to retire soon.
Dave underscored the importance of having a plan for your business so that you are set for success and you can feel good about when it's time to walk away from your life's work. He outlined four important steps to set up your plan:
- Assess financial and emotional readiness.
- Match your readiness.
- Build an exit strategy that takes away the guesswork.
- Build your advisory team.
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated many of the economic hardships that business owners are facing today. Dave recommends working with trusted advisors to help you find the right options for your business, but always plan with the end in mind, regardless of the state of your business.
Watch the full video for more details on how to set up your plan, diversify your investments, and understand how to conduct and evaluate your business before you sell.
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