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‘Exit’ Specialist Patrick Ungashick Shares the ‘New Rules for Succession (Exit) Planning’


Wall Street worries about ‘succession’ planning, but when we are leaders and owners of privately owned companies, we worry about ‘exit’ planning.

At his workshop today for the Vistage National Chief Executive Conference, speaker Patrick Ungashick defined ‘Exit Planning’ as “the conscious effort to grow your business in a manner that efficiently converts ownership into personal financial freedom and peace of mind.” And who doesn’t want that for their business?

This is an important time to be thinking about value in our businesses, says Ungashick. Many CEOs in small- to medium-sized companies (up to $500 million) get this wrong to some level, ultimately causing problems down the road.

In answer to this challenge, Ungashick shared his 3 key points to creating a successful exit plan:

1.      Growth is Not Equal to Value: these often move in lock-step with each other, but quite they often don’t!  CEOs and Vistage members must become champions of value—now.

2.      Create Transferable Value: this is value that actually transfers as part of your succession planning. There are 7 Areas of Transferable Value.

  • Decision-making Management Team
  • Owner Independency
  • Effective Financial Systems and Controls
  • Credible Business Strategic Planning
  • Customer Diversification
  • “Wild Card” Intellectual Property
  • Scalable Systems and Processes

3.      The Time of Value is Now: whether your exit and succession are 6 months from now, 6 years from now, or 16 years from now, it’s important to think about value NOW.

As Ungashick states, “An exit that falls short can cause financial disappointment, family strife, or lost self-esteem. Success at exit is the most crowning achievement of a career, fulfillment of financial and family dreams or the start of your business legacy.”

It may be time to start asking yourself… is your business ready for you to exit today? Are the decisions you make today helping or hurting your success at exit? How are you leveraging Vistage to create Transferable Value in your business? The time to get started is NOW—it’s ‘Exit’ time!

Writer Rachel Kowalski is blogging for the Vistage National Chief Executive Conference. Stay tuned for more updates from the Vistage National Conference.

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