How to start the exit planning conversation.

How to start the exit planning conversation.


Most owners don’t start their business with the end in mind. Getting a company off the ground is a feat in and of itself.  By the time the owners hit their 50s or 60s, they are now thinking of how to reap the long-lasting benefits of their business into retirement. An exit doesn’t have to be a pain point that causes owners to avoid the subject altogether. Unfortunately, as research shows, most exits are never discussed and hardly planned, leading to unsuccessful transitions.

The EPI State of Owner Readiness research, conducted both nationally and regionally, is a research study that collects business attractiveness and owner readiness data for the middle market on a national level. All collected data shows a woefully unprepared business owner marketplace with exit on the horizon.

According to the research, only two out of ten businesses sell. That is a full 80% of the marketplace that will not sell.  Of the few businesses that do manage to transfer, 75% of owners “profoundly regret” selling within one-year post-transition.

What happens if a business does not successfully transition? It may shut down entirely. People lose their jobs. Families suffer. Communities struggle. In many cases, an owner’s lifework is liquidated for pennies on the dollar.

It isn’t worth much to know what the data says if you don’t know how to use it.  What is valuable is to know how to present the data to your clients to start thinking of their eventual exit. Encouraging your clients to understand the marketplace enables them to learn, grow and side-step the same mistakes that keep businesses from selling.

Most importantly, is how the marketplace operates regionally. BNY Mellon Wealth Management, in partnership with The Seton Hall University W. Paul Stillman School of Business and Vistage Chair Roger Miller, is set to launch a regional report highlighting the preparedness of owners in their own community.

“As a CEPA I have an interest in tapping into the mindset of the business owner in an effort to understand how transition advisors can create the best possible outcome,” said Tony Rogers, Senior Director at BNY Mellon.

“New Jersey has a long and proud diverse base of manufacturing, pharmaceutical, technology and service industries statewide. Many of these companies are multigenerational. New Jersey also benefits from the creation of new and exciting businesses, many of which were created to be sold.”

Statistics can be a powerful driving force, and very intriguing and empowering to businesses. Learn how to use the results and reports from EPI’s State of Owner Readiness research to start the conversation with business owners and trigger owner action.  When the time comes, will your business owner client be prepared for their hopefully successful transition or will they hope to be lucky?

The broadcast will be held on Wednesday, March 21 at 1 PM ET. Register now.


About Exit Planning Institute:

EPI LogoThe Exit Planning Institute (EPI) is an education company that provides exit planning education to advisors and middle market business owners.  We view exit planning as a strategy, not an event.

EPI leads the professional services profession with the best industry content, ongoing support, and owner education platform, all of which align with our mission: Change the outcome.

Only 2 out of every 10 businesses that come to market actually sell.  We want to increase the number of saleable businesses.

Only 30% of family businesses successfully transition to the second generation, only 12% transfer to the third, and the success rates diminish from there.  We want to improve those intergenerational transitions.

Of those that succeed in the sale of their business, 75% experience “profound regret” within one year of exiting their business.  We want to understand why and create strategies that achieve profound success, wealth, and satisfaction.

EPI is an education company, powered by an elite community of top advisors and owners, all focused toward creating a valuable, transferable future for the business marketplace.