A strong future needs careful planning

When it comes to effective succession planning, an early start is often the key to success

All business owners will eventually exit their business.  Succession Planning or exit planning is a way to wrap up your involvement in the business.

For some people, this means readying the business for a change of ownership. For others, it means stepping back from the day-to-day while keeping it as a passive income earner. Either way, you need to ensure that the business is ticking to get the best sale price or the best income generation.

It’s never too early to start exit planning. We work with you to consider the exit scenarios available to you given your goals, time available, potential successors and the current state of the business. Once we’ve got some strategies in place to maximise value, we’ll work alongside you to ensure they are implemented.

Read through these client stories to get a better idea of how we can help.

Simon had been in business for 20 years and knew that he wanted to slow down in the next five years. He also knew that for this to happen, the business would need to be less reliant on him but he wasn’t sure how to make that happen.

We started by looking at his business financial position to determine what it was valued at and the profits it was producing. We then looked at his personal situation worked out what he needed to draw from the business to fund his future lifestyle.

Once we knew there was a gap, we suggested a business improvement strategy to work on profitability. This meant setting up some KPIs around business performance measures and improving his cash position.

At the same time, we needed to address Simon’s other concerns about building up his team capability so the business could function without him. This meant getting the team on board. We organised a workshop with his key management and helped him explain the profit improvement plan as well as the shift in responsibility. Again, we used KPIs to manage performance and make sure everyone knew what was required of them.

We catch-up quarterly with Simon and his team to monitor the KPIs to ensure that when he wants to step away, the business is where it needs to be.

Succession Planning KPIs

Our client Greg started working with us to develop a succession plan so he could pass on the business to his son Mark. Mark had been working in the business for 10 years but hadn’t been involved in the financial side of it. He needed to understand what was being given to him to make sure he was happy with the level of risk and potential income he could derive from the business.

We looked over the financial information and discovered that 3 years ago the business was doing well, but since then it was making losses. The cash position was still fair due to the past profitability, but it was dwindling. We compared the historical data from the good times and the bad times and came up with a model of what we needed to do to make the business viable for Mark. This meant cutting costs, redefining roles, and establishing a clear direction for the company with target markets and targeted benchmarks.

Succession Planning - Financial modelling

If you are planning to exit your business in the future, you need to start maximising the value of your business years in advance. A valuation will provide a strategic plan for the development and improvement of your business so you can obtain the required business value by the time you exit.

Do you know the true market value of your business and the factors that contribute to it’s value?

When we value a business, we consider it’s financial data along with budgets and cash flow to work out where they currently sit and model where this will take them. We also compare them to industry averages to make sure they’re in line with what we’d expect. All this combined gives us a value. From there, business owners can decide if it’s enough to meet their wealth creation needs, or if we need to work on improving value to get a better end result.

This valuation methodology is not only useful for selling a business, it can also be useful for other purposes. For instance, to determine the impact of introducing or discarding product lines.

Succession Planning - Valuation

When is it best to do a profit share compared to giving away some equity in the business?

This was a question Jennifer came to us with and it is always a hard one to answer.

Every business is different. Jennifer owned a professional services practice and that generally means it’s easier to succeed out than to sell. Which means taking on partners. Once you have business partners though, you don’t get to make the decisions by yourself because it’s not all your money anymore.

So, the first step is to thoroughly assess whether that person is going to be right for the business as a decision-making owner (an equity partner). Jennifer was concerned that her potential partner might end up leaving in the future so elected to go with a profit share arrangement until she was certain about giving up some ownership of her business. We set up KPIs around the profit share and her employee was energised by the new arrangement.

Note: These are real case studies of clients we’ve worked with, though we have changed their names to protect their privacy.

Ready to get exit ready?

We'd love to hear about your plans and work out how we can help.

Succession planning services

Business Valuations

Valuing a business is more than just number crunching. You need strong industry knowledge and the ability to interpret both financial and non-financial factors. We can perform valuations and give you guidance on how to improve.

Business Sale Readiness

Whether your plan is to sell, grow, or prepare for succession; we help you manage the factors that contribute to value. Profit is just a starting point. We also work on the less tangible factors which help increase value and result in better exit outcomes.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking provides insight into how well each aspect of your business is performing in comparison to others in your industry. We help you get insight into areas that need to be worked on, identify roadblocks to competitiveness and develop a plan for improvement.

Business Health Checks

A business health check is a great starting point to evaluate current business performance and set goals and strategies for improvement.

Quarterly Meetings

Our quarterly meetings are an opportunity for business owners to stay accountable and on task. We review performance metrics, set and manage action plans and keep you focused on the bigger picture.

KPI Development

We help you develop meaningful KPIs for your team and commit to accurately measuring and managing them once in place.

Strategic Planning

Taking time to step back and think about your business objectively is a beneficial process for your whole team and gives focus, direction and purpose to your everyday business activities. However, strategy without execution is meaningless so we make sure you stay on task.

Business Coaching

Regardless of where you’re at in your business’ lifecycle, working with an experienced business coach will provide the support and sounding board you need to keep growing and working towards your goals.

We work with motivated clients to improve their businesses and grow their wealth

"We have been dealing with Marsh & Partners for 20 years now, not only for all of our accounting needs, but also with business mentoring, which has helped us grow our companies. Fred Patten has given us incredible support and encouragement in order to help us move forward in business, and has guided us through the highs and lows that come with being in business. He and his team have made it a priority to know all aspects of our business and meet with us regularly to discuss growth & development strategies. We trust the expertise of Marsh & Partners and know we will only continue to move forward with them into the future."

Sonya JonesDirector, Concrete Partners

"Our family has enjoyed a successful partnership with Marsh & Partners for over 31 years. During this time, we have been provided with exceptional tax and business strategies to help our agricultural and commercial interests and now leading into our second intergenerational transfer. It is also mutually beneficial that the partners and associates travel to our home and place of business to actually see and understand our operation and needs."

Scott SeisDirector, Mungana Farming Co

"I have used Marsh and Partners for over twenty years. They take my worries, whether it be tax or cash flow or the pain of business compliance, and make these worries theirs. It is the feeling of relief when I hand these worries over and the feeling of certainty that they will be fixed without any major involvement from me that that keeps me going back. "

Ashley TulleyCCO, McInnes Wilson Lawyers

"Pohlmans Nursery have had a close working relationship with Fred and the team at Marsh & Partners for over 19 years now. During this time, Fred has offered us accounting expertise to assist our business to grow. Fred constantly goes above and beyond by guiding our business in the right direction in making business connections for finance and family law as well as assisting on our Board of Directors.
Fred is a consummate professional and an expert in his field. Throughout our partnership with Fred and the team at Marsh & Partners they have offered us peace of mind in knowing that we have such a strong team of professionals taking care of all of our accounting needs."

Robert PohlmanPohlmans Nursery

"Marsh & Partners have been our accountants for the past 20 years and have provided exceptional service that transcends the expected norm. They understand the importance of connection and relationships and build these ethics into their deliverables.
Marsh also appreciate the value of community and have provided pro bono assistance to our charity endED.org.au for the past 3 years."

Mark ForbesCo-Founder, endED

"I have worked closely with Marsh & Partners over the past couple of years on a development strategy for my business. It is great to work with a team that focuses on more than numbers and it's provided many positive results for my business."

Ian BurchillDirector, CoolTimes Industries
Looking for succession planning resources?

Join our newsletter

Get access to tax updates, business advice and free seminar events.