If you are a business owner, there are two important periods of time in your oversight of the firm. One is when you want to start cutting back on your hours and your day-to-day involvement in the business. The other is when you want to walk away from the company entirely.
The challenge is finding the delicate balance between the two and how you have prepared your successor to take over more and more of your normal duties. If you don’t have a successor, it is just as important to consider a transition plan and exit strategy that makes the most sense from a financial, estate planning, and personal/emotional standpoint. All three are vitally important.
You will want to monetize your life’s work from the business for retirement, and this is often a challenging aspect of cutting back and eventually stepping away from the firm. You also want to have your estate planning done so you can protect your assets and avoid taxes while taking care of your heirs in a fair and equitable manner.
Sometimes the personal and emotional side of exiting a business is the most traumatic. After all, you’ve spent a lifetime building the company and have a healthy amount of self-esteem and prestige in doing so. The thought of losing that to someone else, even if to a son or daughter, can be difficult and lead to frustration, especially if you don’t have something to retire to.
My best advice is to get some counsel from a person you trust, someone who knows you or can get to know you extremely well. Whatever is in your heart and mind about business transition needs to be clear and unambiguous. I have found that trusted advisors can help you when you need it the most.