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 - July 3, 2018

• Consumer Sentiment Rises - Chief Economist for The University of Michigan's survey Richard Curtin said one-in-four consumers mentioned the potential negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy.

• ADM in Talks with Neovia - Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is in talks to take over French animal feed business Neovia for 1.5 billion euros ($1.75 billion) in order to expand in the animal nutrition sector.

• Tesla Meets Production Target - Tesla's first mass production vehicle missed two Ņambitious' production targets, but Musk promised investors that the company would make 5,000 Model 3s per week by this time of year.

Financial and Economic Brief - June 26, 2018

• Harley-Davidson Moving Some Production Overseas - The EU launched tariffs on American imports like bourbon, peanut butter and orange juice on Friday.

• Oil Prices Fall - Brent crude oil fell by more than 1% today as investors prepared for an extra 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to hit the markets after OPEC and its partners agreed to raise production to “stop the gap” between supply and demand.

• SEC Probes Earnings per Share - The SEC is investigating whether publicly traded U.S. companies have been rounding up their quarterly earnings to the next highest cent.

Financial and Economic Brief - June 19, 2018

• U.S. GDP Models, Higher - The U.S. economy is likely growing faster than expected, and raised its second-quarter growth forecast to 4 percent from 3.9% on Friday, citing strong manufacturing economic data.

• DJIA Falls amid Growing Trade Tensions - The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 200 points on Monday morning as well as the other major indexes, as China’s “retaliatory action” against U.S. tariffs renewed fears of a trade war.

• Eurozone vs. Greek Government - Eurozone finance ministers are ready to face a conflict this week with the Greek government over the terms of a “golden goodbye” as Greece prepares to leave its third bailout program.

Financial and Economic Brief - June 12, 2018

• New Rate Hikes Soon - The Federal Reserve is due to announce another rate hike this week amidst a “spat” between the U.S. and its Western allies over trade tariffs.

• Rolls-Royce Cutting Jobs - Britain’s Rolls-Royce said a compressor problem found on a “small number of high life Package B engines” are requiring an inspection of the B fleet and sending its shares down 1%.

• Global Economy Risks - Economists warn that trade fights, geopolitical tensions, rising oil prices and emerging market crises could be detrimental to economic growth.

Financial and Economic Brief - June 5, 2018

• Strong Employment Signals Rate Hikes - May’s strong employment report of 223,000 new jobs in May including a gain in wages of 0.3%, indicates the Fed is on track to raise interest rates in June and could even add a fourth rate hike to its forecast this year.

• U.S. Stocks Rise - U.S. stocks rose on Monday led by gains in technology shares and Friday’s jobs data, which gave investors confidence that the U.S. economy remained strong.

• More Store Closings for Sears - Sears Holdings is closing 63 stores because the company hasn’t earned a profit since 2010.

Financial and Economic Brief - May 29, 2018

• Consumer Confidence Strong - The Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence matched analysts expectations in May.

• S&P 500 Down over Italy’s Crisis - The S&P 500 and DJIA hit near three-week lows today as investors switched cash into “perceived safe havens” of global financial markets due to a deepening political crisis in Italy.

• US Dollar Index is Rising - The US Dollar Index, which measures the value of the dollar against major global currencies, has been rising.