Getting Out of Business
Because the small business community affects the economy nationwide, it follows that the transfer, sale or closure of even one operation carries fiscal significance. Research from the U.S. Small Business Administration reveals this sector has maintained considerable activity.
As defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration, any independent company employing fewer than 500 personnel fits the small business classification. Currently, firms of this type represent 99.9% of the 27.2 million existing American businesses. Even in today's challenging economic climate, an estimated 637,100 new employer firms began operations in 2007. On a less positive note, however, 560,300 ventures also closed that year.
Still, entrepreneurs who leave their companies behind - either voluntarily, from economic necessity or to retire - do have options that can facilitate the process. The secret lies in a well-planned exit strategy.
When Your Goal is to Retire
After 30 or 40 years of hard work and saving, most people see retirement as the chance to do what they've always dreamed of - whether that's relaxing in a backyard hammock or sailing around the world. Realizing these fantasies - or any other for that matter - requires cold, hard cash. Fortunately, strategies to ensure a comfortable retirement do exist. The secret lies in finding the right plan and getting started as soon as possible.
- Planning for Retirement - You know that retirement planning is important, but how do you get started? Evaluating your retirement needs and the needs of your employees and business are two important considerations. For those not in the financial planning industry, or who just need a little help, a qualified retirement planning consultant can be a wise investment.
- How to Cut Costs and Save for the Future - Running a company on the lean side is a sound practice even when times are booming. When retirement looms, cutting costs and saving for the future is essential. Most financial experts approach these issues on a case-by-case basis, still some actions work well across the board. This section provides an overview of those retirement-planning basics every business owner should know.
- Investing Options - Knowing that strong investments form the foundation for a viable retirement plan is an important first step and a fairly easy one to take. On the other hand, deciding how best to make your money work for you can be a lot more complicated. This section takes you through the entire process, from savings strategies before retirement to plans for any type of small business.
What To Do With Your Business
Perhaps Jimmy Junior has the potential to take the corporate reins when you retire, or maybe putting the company up for sale would be the easier and more profitable choice. Whatever your situation, financial consultants invariably stress a systematic exit strategy, even when that involves bankruptcy. Consider this section your guide to a comprehensive array of programs and best practices to help you expedite getting out of business.
- Passing the Business on to Heirs - Picking a favorite child to head up the family business is not necessarily the wisest course of action. Indeed, the most capable candidate may be someone with no blood ties at all. Either way, succession planning offers a multi-pronged approach to planning for the future with the entire process best launched long before retirement.
- Selling Your Business - Make the Right Choices - Selling a business requires significant time and effort, including financial analysis, effective marketing and sales savvy.
- On the Market: Selling the Business - Even the most dedicated business owners may decide they're ready to move on to other projects, or to dump the heavy workload and retire altogether. Still, selling a company requires meticulous planning and, regrettably, a truckload of paperwork. Use this section as a checklist to guide you through the process from hanging a "For Sale" sign to sealing the deal.
- Selling a Business in Distress - Buoying up a failing business consumes the owner's energy and optimism even when he's determined to turn things around. Tensions really skyrocket when he makes the decision to sell. The information in this chapter aims to ease this painful process through organized planning, reliable valuation methodology and realistic marketing campaigns.
- Liquidation: Turn Business Assets into Cash - Economists define liquidation as the process of closing a business establishment, along with the sale or disposal of assets and the pay off of liabilities. This section provides information on why and how to start the process, as well as measures to ensure employee and property safety.
- Bankruptcy: When all Else Fails - Every entrepreneur's nightmare, bankruptcy not only involves emotional trauma, but legal and administrative angst to boot. This section addresses major bankruptcy laws, to whom they apply and various contingencies depending on the companies involved.