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 - January 7, 2020

• Consumer Confidence Dips - According to The Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence “dipped slightly” in December. The metric came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November.

• Oil Prices Rising - Oil prices rose over 1% on Monday, pushing Brent above $70 a barrel.

• Gold Highest in 7 Years - Global investors are going into safe haven assets as fallout continues from the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani.

Financial and Economic Brief - December 3, 2019

• Moderate Growth in Q3 - The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate over the summer, slightly faster than first estimated.

• OPEC to Deepen Cuts - OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020.

• Tariff Threat Renewed - President Trump announced that the U.S. will “restore” steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, citing a “massive devaluation of their currencies.”

Financial and Economic Brief - November 5, 2019

• Consumer Confidence “Dips” - U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in Oct. to 125.9 from a Sept. reading of 126.3 as worries over business conditions & employment prospects rose.

• Gannett and New Media Investment Group - Gannett reported its 3rd quarter earnings noting a continued decline in overall revenue but pointed to an increase in its marketing services & digital subscriptions.

• U.S.-China Trade Optimism - Technology stocks pushed the 3 main indexes to record highs, as hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal & an improving domestic economy raised risk appetite.

Financial and Economic Brief - October 8, 2019

• Unemployment Rate Falls - Unemployment hit a 50-yr. low in September even though nonfarm payrolls rose by just 136,000 as the economy nears full employment.

• Impeachment and the Stock Market - The launch of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump tosses another wild card into a volatile stock market.

• Trade Talks Underway - U.S. & Chinese deputy trade negotiators launched a new round of talks on Monday aimed at resolving the 15-mo. trade war, with neither side showing any signs of giving ground.

Financial and Economic Brief - September 4, 2019

• Recent Jobless Claims Fall - Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to 209,000 for the week ended August 17, 2019, falling sharply from the week before.

• Brexit Crisis Still Uncertain - British lawmakers will try to stop Boris Johnson from pursuing what they cast as a “calamitous no-deal Brexit”.

• New Wave of Tariffs in Trade War - The new tariffs are a sharp escalation in the trade war, and could cost U.S. households $800 a year.

Financial and Economic Brief - August 6, 2019

• Economy is Steady - The economy added 164,000 nonfarm payrolls in July, as expected. Wages rose 0.3% in July, or 3.2% year over year.

• Yuan Falls - The yuan fell 1.4% which breached the key 7-per-dollar level for the first time since 2008.

• HSBC CEO Out - HSBC chief John Flint is stepping down after less than two years on the job.