Exit Planning FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Exit Planning?

Exit Planning is simply good business strategy. Exit planning combines the plan, concept, effort, and process into a clear, simple strategy to build a business that is transferable through strong human, structural, customer, and social capital. The future of you, your family, and your business are addressed by exit planning through creating value today.

What is a CEPA?

Formally, CEPA is an acronym for Certified Exit Planning Advisor. Participants who successfully complete the who take this 4-day executive MBA style program, and pass the closed book proctored exam, receive the Certified Exit Planning Advisor / CEPA credential.

In reality, A CEPA is a holistic business advisor that helps a business owner align their business, personal and financial goals while building transferable value into their company so that the owner is always prepared to capitalize on a transition of their company, planned or unplanned.

Does exiting mean I have to change how I work?

A paradigm shift is required. Exit planning is simply good business strategy integrated with your personal and financial goals and objectives.

What does my personal life have to do with leaving my business?

Business is personal. Personal financial goals and personal aspirations should be driving the business, not the other way around. There will be times when you have conflicting value systems. Owning a business is personal.

Is income the long-term goal?

Value is the primary long-term goal—not income. This sounds like a subtle play on words, but, this is a significant paradigm shift.

Should I focus on my exit once I have a plan in place?

Focus on the present, not the future. Much of what has been written about exit planning focuses on the endgame. But it isn’t accomplished by focusing too far down the road. Your successful exit is based on what you do now; every day counts. There is no reason you can’t benefit today and in the future. You can do both.

How can I get the most out of my sell?

Manage your five stages of value creation. Value acceleration is achieved by focusing on the multiple, which is based on the strength of your intellectual capital (your intangible assets). Your intangible assets must be transferable. Your business value can only be harvested if your intellectual capital can be passed to a buyer. You need to understand the difference between attractiveness and readiness.

What is my first step?

Adopt a process. Great planning makes execution imperatives clear. There are sequential steps that should be respected to keep you moving in the right direction. Taking the time to get organized before you execute will help determine what you should be doing and in what order. It will ensure you are working on the right things.

I have a plan, now what?

You must execute. A plan helps you prioritize, organize, and focus. But without the will to execute, a plan will not create action. I would also argue that much of what is written focuses on what you should do. But “how” is a question that often remains unanswered. Value Acceleration is the way to execute and deliver.

How do I know my plan is the right one?

Measure your results. You need a scorecard and a management system that measure and reinforce your focus on value growth. Your value management system needs to be flexible and should be frequently (and quickly) recalibrated. Metrics offer a systematic approach to accomplish this.

Should I let my company know my plan?

Involve your team. It takes a diverse team to be successful. You can’t do it alone. And there are many stakeholders depending on your success.

What if I don't have the resources to make this a priority?

Invest in your success. You will need to spend some money and time to be successful. Accept that. Back up your commitment with investments in creating value. Bringing in the necessary expertise will get you over the hump and keep you focused.

Does the CEPA program qualify for Continuing Education credits?

The CEPA program now qualifies for continuing educational credits with twelve major professional associations. This makes the CEPA program the most widely accepted and endorsed professional exit planning program in the world.

  • ASA receive 18 CE Credit hours
  • CBA receive 32 CPE hours
  • CBI receive 10 CE Credit hours
  • CFP® receive 17 CE Credit hours
  • CIMA receive 29 CE Credit hours
  • CIMC receive 29 CE Credit hours
  • CM&AA receive 34 CPE hours
  • CPA receive 32.5 CPE hours
  • CPWA receive 29 CE Credit hours
  • CVA receive 32 CPE hours
  • MAFF receive 32 CPE hours
How long is the CEPA program?

Developed by nationally recognized experts in the field of exit planning and value acceleration, the CEPA Certification is a week-long executive MBA-style program that includes 23 modules taught by 13 expert instructors.

What is the difference between the 4-day and 5-day CEPA program?

The full CEPA experience is a 5-day program that includes 23 modules taught by 13 instructors. Days 1-4 cover test concepts that you will be required to know in order to pass your proctored CEPA exam. Day 5 is practice management, implementation models, critical path planning, and tactical marketing strategy training, and the ‘Day 5’ concepts are not tested. Though it is not advised, you can opt-out of the fifth day of training if you are not interested in learning marketing and implementation planning models. After you fill out the CEPA application, you can remove it from your shopping cart.
If you are having trouble deciding if Day 5 is right for you, contact Josh Koza, EPI Client Experience Manager, to discuss your individual needs.