Smooth Exits

The Weekly Report – February 12, 2024
For manufacturers considering the sale of their companies before retirement, Steve Haarstad has two key messages: start early and find a great support team.

In 2021 Enterprise Minnesota business strategy expert Steve Haarstad earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation from the Exit Planning Institute, a perfect complement to his years of strategic planning experience. Since then, he’s been helping business owners lay the groundwork for the personal, financial, and business aspects of selling their companies before retirement.

This level of exit planning expertise is particularly relevant for manufacturers considering a sale, which just might be you. The Exit Planning Institute estimates more than 2,000 manufacturing businesses in Minnesota are owned by baby boomers who are reaching a certain age.

Steve says the first step in an effective exit strategy, even if owners are only thinking about selling, is to conduct an objective valuation of the company. Starting early is key, he says. With time on their side, owners can boost the eventual sale price of the company by considering factors like diversifying their customer base, documenting processes for future owners, or embracing automation. “We can work with them to increase the value now and in the future,” Steve says.

Another important assessment is personal readiness. Steve recommends finding an outside professional to help manufacturers visualize what they want their lives to look like after retirement.

Owners also need to determine how much income they will need in retirement and create the proper financial, tax and legal strategy to provide that. “The tax ramifications of a business sale can be enormous,” Steve says.

No single individual has the expertise to manage all aspects of a successful exit, so assembling a core group of advisors with expertise in critical areas is essential. That’s why Steve calls exit planning a team sport. “I’m more like a quarterback, helping lead a team that might include a financial planner, estate or tax attorney, CPA, business broker or investment banker, and a value advisor,” he says.

For more information about the services Steve can provide, please contact him here.

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