Business Succession

Ready to hear a reality check from other business owners?

  • Nearly three-fourths of privately held manufacturing firms in the U.S. were formed between 1960 and 1980.
  • Only about 14% have a succession plan in place for their company if they should die or become disabled.
  • Half of all business owners expect to sell their businesses to an outside buyer when the time is right.
  • At any given time, 20% of privately owned businesses are for sale and only one in four will actually be sold.

Here's what is important about these stats*. When we ask business owners when they see a major transition in the ownership of their businesses, most of them reply, "Five years." Suppose they don't start the plan today, then next year it will still be five years out and the year after that another five. Meanwhile the statistics imply that with every passing year the market for business sales will become more and more crowded.

* John H. Brown - Cash Out Move On: Get Top Dollar, and More, Selling Your Business

Every successful exit strategy requires tough questions and careful advance preparation.

  • What's the value of my business today? Is that what I think it's worth or what the marketplace would think?
  • How can I preserve the value through more effective financial and operational management?
  • How can I protect it from creditors?
  • How can I promote its value through value drivers?
  • How can I prepare for acquisition - either cash or note or other option? For a merger? For an IPO?
  • How can I manage contingencies - loss of shareholders, key people, financial resources, intellectual assets, customers?
  • How will I manage the new family asset my business becomes?

We have walked many business owners through these concerns to start the planning process and monitored progress as the plan progresses. For virtually all of them, the business represented the largest single asset in their estate which then led to integration of business and estate planning. No surprise - the commitment to planning your exit from the business mirrors your commitment to building it.

Office Location

DavisWalker, Ltd.

9100 Arboretum Parkway
Suite 260
North Chesterfield, VA 23236-3493
ph: 804.560.8082

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News Updates

Financial and Economic Brief - September 19, 2017

• August Retail Sales Fell More Than Expected - According to The Commerce Department, U.S. retail sales fell 0.2% in August, more than forecasted, suggesting “moderation” in consumer spending in Q3.

• Gas Prices Coming Down… Slowly - Prices jumped 32 cents a gallon in two weeks as refineries in the Houston area were closed.

• Northrop Grumman to Buy Orbital - U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp said on Monday it would buy missile and rocket maker Orbital for $7.8 billion in cash.

Financial and Economic Brief - September 12, 2017

• Gas Prices Rise after Harvey - After Hurricane Harvey the average price of gasoline rose, prompted by oil refinery closures..

• ARAMCO IPO Still on Track - Saudi Arabia is still on track to sell part of its oil company ARAMCO on the stock market in 2018 despite changes to its economic revival plan.

• BP Files for IPO - British energy company BP filed for an initial public offering of its pipeline assets in the U.S.

Financial and Economic Brief - September 5, 2017

• August Auto Sales Down - According to Autodata, auto sales totaled 16.14 million in August, down almost 2% from last August.

• Lego to Cut jobs - Lego announced that it is cutting 1,400 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, as part of a “broad overhaul” of its strategy.

• Gasoline Prices Rise, Dollar Weakens - According to Fed Governor Lael Brainard, since inflation is falling “well short” of its target the Fed should be careful about raising interest rates until it is confident that prices are moving higher.

Financial and Economic Brief - August 29, 2017

• Durable Goods Orders Fall - New orders for key capital goods rose more than expected in July, and shipments surged, pointing to an acceleration in business spending early in the 3rd quarter.

• New Sanctions on Venezuela - An executive order was signed on Friday barring U.S. citizens and banks from buying new bonds from the Venezuelan government or its state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela.

• Gasoline Prices Rise, Dollar Weakens - U.S. gasoline futures rose to 2-year highs while an already weak dollar fell to a 16-month low on Monday as Tropical Storm Harvey hit the U.S. energy sector & raised concerns about the economy.

Financial and Economic Brief - August 22, 2017

• Debt Ceiling Increase - According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. government will raise the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting on its debt.

• European Stocks Gain - European stocks broke a losing streak on Tuesday, adding to gains in other markets and advanced by rising commodity prices.

• Fed Divided Over Inflation in July - Minutes from the Fed meeting in late July show Federal Reserve policymakers were worried about inflation, but for two opposing reasons.

Financial and Economic Brief - August 15, 2017

• Eurozone Industrial Output Down - According to the Eurostat statistics agency, industrial output across the 19 countries that make up the eurozone fell in June, likely illustrating the “export-sapping” impact of the rising euro.

• Consumer Prices Rise Less Than Expected - According to the U.S. Labor Department, U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in July rising only 0.1%.

• All S&P Sectors Higher - Wall Street opened higher today, all 11 major S&P sectors, as investor sentiment was lifted by easing tensions in the Korean peninsula.