Intentional Growth

The Exit Planning Institute

The Exit Planning Institute
Intentional Growth
The Exit Planning Institute

What a show we have in store for you today! Crammed full of useful stats and insight from a man who could legitimately call himself an exit planning godfather.

Chris shared with us his starter guide to exit planning along with some of the more interesting top-level philosophies that go with it. Also discussed were weighty economic matters… is the US able to cope with the aging baby boomers predicted to transition 4.5 million companies and a predicted $10 trillion worth of assets in the next decade? As the owner of the Exit Planning Institute, Chris Snider sure knows exit planning! We strongly advise you listen to his conversation with us this week, but if you just want the quick & dirty summary, read on….

What is the Exit Planning Institute?

In Chris’ words: “We don’t view ourselves as an association… we view our members more as customers. Our job is provide a compelling platform for them to launch their practices. It’s up to us to provide resources to enable them to produce revenue and do well by their clients.”

Vital statistics from the industry:

  • There are 6 million privately held business in the US market today, 2 out of 3 of which are owned by baby boomers. Within 8 years, all baby boomers will be over 60 years old.
  • Since 2013 in surveys of owners, 3 out of 4 businesses say they want to exit their businesses in the next ten years, which is approximately 4.5 million privately held businesses and $10 trillion of wealth. That represents the biggest transfer of wealth in history.
  • The success rates of exit transactions are 20-30%.
  • 50% of exits are not on the business owners’ terms.
  • 75% of business owners regret exiting a business a year after they do.

What does an owner want from the exit planning process?

Owners don’t want plans, they want results!

What are the “three legs of the stool” in exit planning?

  1. The owner has plans for their “third act”, i.e. what they will do with their life after business.
  2. The owner plans their financial affairs outside of the business, i.e. estate planning, tax planning to maximize the net proceeds etc.
  3. “The Business leg”: the owner plans to maximize the value of the business.

All three legs need equal attention in the exit planning process. Too often people concentrate on the third leg of the process and ignore the other two. The theory says, in short, if one of the legs is missing from the plan, the stool won’t stand.

What are the differences between the mindsets of business owners and their advisors?

Owners tend to be “right brained” and think holistically, i.e. in concepts and strategies. But most advisors are technical, “left brain” thinkers i.e. big on process detail. Advisors are naturally inclined to proceed into the solution without properly getting into the mind of the owner. This is one of the reasons why so many businesses are sold without due consideration of the personal factors that exist outside of the business.

If you are an advisor, what should you do?

Really get to know the business owner, but be patient before having the in-depth, sensitive discussions about the personal side. Make sure the rapport is built before getting into too much detail.

If you are an owner, what should you do?

If the advisor has made the effort to get to know you, ask them for a process. Ask them to walk you through how it’s going to go. A lot of people say they know what they’re talking about and might blind you with science, but at this point in the conversation you can tell whether they’ve grasped the brief holistically.

Who should be in an advisory team for an exit?

The key roles are an attorney, CPA, financial planner, M&A advisor, investment manager, and a value advisor/overall project manager.

Intangible assets are generally far more important drivers of business value than tangible assets. What are the main examples?

Deep customer relationships, recurring revenue, highly cultivated talent, strong structural capital, strong business culture.

If a business owner decides they want to sell, what’s the first thing they should do?

Identify their current value. Everything else must follow this. This includes a formal business valuation and a personal financial assessment. This will then enable an advisor to quantify the overall value in terms of numbers and ratios, and then formulate a plan to improve it if it needs improving.

Book recommendations:

The Masterplan by Peter G. Christman

The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Waddles

Walking To Destiny by Chris Snider

Wise words for the road:

“You can’t just plan, you have to do.”

“You can’t just plan, you have to do.””

“Exit strategy is really nothing more than strong business strategy.”

“Exit strategy is really nothing more than strong business strategy.””

“Most business value is not tied up in tangible capital – it’s intangible.”

“Most business value is not tied up in tangible capital – it’s intangible.”

How to get a hold of Chris Snider

Christopher M. Snider

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (216) 712-4244



Brief bio

Christopher M. Snider, CEPA, CEO and President of the Exit Planning Institute (EPI), creator of the Value Acceleration Methodology, author of Walking to Destiny: 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value & Unlock Wealth, and Managing Partner of Snider Premier Growth, is recognized as a thought leader and trendsetter in the field of value acceleration and exit planning.  With a message that resonates with entrepreneurs across the country, Chris is a sought after speaker for many major companies and trade industries, and the associated organizations that are dedicated to serving the transition and growth needs of business owners.

He built his career as a key value growth integrator for major companies including The Sherwin Williams Company, FedEx Logistics, Nike, Dell, and Textron.  Finding passion in changing middle market business owners’ lives through rapid growth projects, Chris emerged a game-changer, noting a milestone project with a family-owned private company that he helped grow from $90 million to over $240 million in three years and successfully selling to a multi-national strategic buyer.  Now with a wealth of experience and a proven value acceleration system, Chris established a family investment company with his son, with ownership stakes in eight lower middle market businesses.

Brought to you by Ryan Tansom of Intentional Growth