Up Coming Events

  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) Program - August 3 - 7, 2015 - San Francisco
    University of San Francisco
  • Central Indiana Chapter Meeting - August 4, 2015
  • NORCAL & CEPA Social - August 4, 2015

Recent News

  • President's Message March 2014
    Last month I wrote an article entitled Right Place, Right Time which presented a compelling case for state of our market. This month I want to present to you an overview of the exit planning process and EPI’s current point of view. First, exit planning is a process; NOT an event. It’s a way of running your business that maximizes its value and provides a means to achieving owner’s personal and financial goals; if they have any. The definition I like to use is a slight variation to the definition by Patrick Ungashick from his book Dance in the End Zone, “Exit planning is the conscious effort to maximize enterprise value while enabling the conversion of that ownership into personal financial freedom and peace of mind.” 
  • Consultants are Heroes Data Shows
    Exit Planning is a powerful profession, and I am lucky enough to learn from terrific consultants like you every day.  You share insights about your marketing efforts, your client interviews, your challenges, and your big wins. Generating wins –building your practice—is a fascinating area.  Some common themes: telling business owners you can build the value of their business gets their ear; then showing them both how, and by what amount, wins you their trust over 30% of the time.  What is the key to maintaining the conversation’s momentum and converting this trust into action? 
  • Discover Fort Worth - Fort Worth Stockyards
    The Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, north of the central business district. The 98-acre (40 ha) district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District in 1976. They are a former livestock market which operated under various owners from 1866. The arrival of railroads in 1876 made the area a very important livestock center. Fort Worth Union Stockyards opened for business on January 19, 1890, covering 206 acres. On February 7, the Fort Worth Dressed Meat and Packing Company was founded. This facility was operated without profit until purchased by G. W. Simpson of Boston.

What is Exit Planning?

Exit planning is the creation of a comprehensive road map to allow a business owner to successfully exit a privately held business. An exit plan asks and answers all of the business, personal, financial, legal, and tax questions involved in selling a privately owned business.
The purpose of an exit plan is to maximize the value of the business at the time of the exit, minimize the amount of taxes paid, and ensure that the business owner is able to accomplish all of his or her personal and financial goals in the process.

A good exit plan can be complex and usually requires advice from a number of different specialties. But, the failure to create a well-defined exit plan virtually guarantees that the business owner will:

  • Exit their companies as a result of pressure from outside circumstances, not as the result of their own desires
  • Exit their companies on a timetable that's forced on them instead of one that meets their needs
  • Undervalue their companies and leave hard-earned wealth on the table.
  • Pay too much in taxes
  • Lose control over the process by being reactive and limiting their exit options
  • Fail to realize all their business and personal goals
  • Suffer unnecessary psychological stress
  • Watch a lifetime of work disintegrate as a result of poor business continuity planning
  • Lose confidentiality during the sale or exit process

On the other hand, a well-designed and implemented exit plan enables business owners to:
  • Control how and when they exit
  • Maximize company value in good times and bad
  • Minimize, defer, or eliminate capital gains taxes
  • Retain control by generating a number of strategic exit options
  • Ensure they achieve all their business and personal goals
  • Reduce their stress and that of their employees and families
  • Ensure continuity of the business


But perhaps most importantly, the number one benefit business owners cite is "peace of mind." A recent survey showed that the number one reason private business sales fail or only partially succeed is a lack of planning on the seller's part (1). Owners who have gone through the exit planning process say they have a new sense of clarity about their options, their stress level is reduced, and they are able to sleep better at night knowing that they have a plan in place to help ensure they meet their personal, business, and financial goals.

(1) Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Whose Business Is It Anyway? Smart strategies for Ownership Succession, and University of Connecticut Family Business Program, Family Business Survey.