What is Exit and Succession 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.

Succession planning is the systematic process of reviewing all aspects of the business, determining the most appropriate method of transitioning ownership, assessing the most appropriate exit option, and then creating a detailed and documented plan to achieve the best possible outcome for all the stakeholders in the business.

Seven Steps to REFIRE

Ascend Business Partners specialise in helping business owners increase their wealth and build their business through our unique and proven “Seven Steps to REFIRE”.

We work together with business owners to increase the value of your business and improve profits, allowing you to exit the business with a valuable asset that can be sold, transitioned to the next generation, or even provide an ongoing passive income.

Step 1 – Business Readiness
The first step is to determine the position of your business in terms of value, profitability, and efficiency through an extensive review of key value drivers, operational factors, and organizational structure. This provides insight into what can be done to increase the value of your business, assesses how attractive the business is for future sale or ownership transition, and identifies any potential “wealth gaps”
Step 2 – Transition Planning
Often one of the biggest challenges for you as a business owner is to know when you will be ready to step away from your business. Identifying your personal goals will help ensure your business is set up to help achieve the desired personal outcomes and determine the exit option that best allows you to extract wealth and create your ideal lifestyle.
Step 3 – Value Enhancement
Identifying and implementing premium value drivers will significantly increase the value of your business, by helping your business stand out from the crowd and be sold for a premium. The premium value drivers are: reducing business risk; minimising owner dependency; creating a sustainable competitive advantage; implementing strong governance syst; and positioning your business for strategic acquisition.
Step 4– Business Strategy and Direction
Having a clear vision for the future of your business will not only inspire and motivate employees, but will also provide future owners with the confidence to invest and expect future returns. By capturing what the business stands for and why it exists, you are significantly more likely to achieve objectives and strengthen processes.
Step 5 – Business Performance
Creating a high performance business requires business owners to have a clear focus on product/service innovation, growth activities, financial management, attracting and retaining good people, and being well systemised. Implementing best practice typically involves regular financial and performance reviews in which key staff take ownership of identified areas to create an environment focused on constant improvement.
Step 6– Transition Implementation
Most business owners don’t know how to fully extract the wealth created in the business. Whether you are planning to sell or transition ownership, it is important to properly prepare for this process and carefully implement the appropriate strategy. Ascend Business Partners work with you using well defined steps to project manage your business transition or business sale. Engaging professional advice and giving yourself enough time to plan and implement the required steps will be a key factor in the success of your succession.
Step 7– Results
Taking the time to invest in a strategic succession and exit plan will allow you to smoothly transition into the next stage of your life and give you the best chance to create the lifestyle you have always dreamed about.

Why strategic succession planning?

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

At Ascend Business Partners we work with you to:


Identify the strategic buyers
for your business
Extract the best value of the
business when you exit

A business owner who sells his business without an exit plan typically sells it for too little. Those who do nothing and let the business be sold when it’s too late usually leave a burden to their family, and the business experiences a substantial loss in value.

Every successful succession plan will also help you properly think about your personal future. One of the most important gifts you can give yourself is taking time to reflect more deeply on what is truly meaningful to you. After years of hard work there comes a time to consider your personal future and to create your unique dreams to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The number one benefit business owners cite is "peace of mind." 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.

Experts to help you improve, grow or sell your business