Business exit planning for couples

family business exit

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Business Exit planning for couples is an exciting opportunity but it needs to get it right. Working as a romantic couple brings pleasure, frustration, and opportunity rolled up into one package. When a romantic couple that can work together in a business bet it right their business booms. It ll comes together it’s a special relationship that can build a business

Planning the exit from your business as a couple is essential to get it right. Both partners are on a journey on their own life paths. Working together often can mean spending 24/ seven together. That’s a big ask for any couple. Starting the conversation with your partner should be about the direction of the business may be confrontational. This is often an issue that neither wish to broach! Yet, it’s essential to understand where each other’s thoughts lie towards the future.

Couples often end up working by default!

Couples in business often happen by default. Maybe, one person in the matrimonial relationship has become part of the business to support the other. One partner may have taken a role to support the other. Either because they wished to or because of necessity to keep the business growing. Sometimes the husband and wife or partner business relationships start reluctantly, but for others, it is a wish as they define a distinct role in the business.

Some just can’t do it

There are those couples that can’t work together and have not stepped into the business relationship arena. However, they still need to be part of the future planning for an exit strategy to support their partner who is running the business.

Times are changing, but predominately, the wife or female partner may support the husband, such as a doctor or a plumbers wife. Still, more and more thankfully, the reverse is happening as community attitudes are changing and the wife is taking charge.

Set a plan for Exit

Exit planning for couples is about the strategic plan of when to exit the business to enjoy retirement or other challenges. Timing becomes even more critical when there are a husband and wife involved.

Let’s summarise the opportunities exit planning for couples.

  1. One partner in the relationship may want out while the other may wish to continue,
  2. Both partners want out,
  3. The partner who holds the skill that drives the business wishes to retire
  4. One partner gets sick and leaves the other partner to run the business

Each event above needs to be evaluated and planned.

Communication is the key

Starting that conversation about each other’s needs is often avoided until it’s too late.

For this reason, it is that each partner’s needs and desires need to be respected and a suitable plan to address complications that may arise as above. In any planning situation, having a frank discussion about the future will derive a better result in the exit process journey. It may help or save a marital relationship under enormous pressure due to one partner’s expectations to continue to operate in the business.

Remember taking the approach that a business will achieve a higher value with less or no reliance on its owners is a great attitude to have when it comes to exit planning for couples.

Working through couples’ needs when it comes to business exit planning for couples!

Typically, one partner may not wish to continue living the dream of the other partner in the business. The reluctant business partner may have become the reluctant administrator or debt collector within the business. They can often feel frustrated, and resentment may start to set in. Starting the exit process may bring one or both partners immediate relief when a plan for one or both is implemented. Comments predominately by the wife during the time of planning are, “I am so glad to be looking at my future and I feel happy It is often when other life events are starting to come into play, such as older parents or grandchildren.”

The feeling of being trapped dissipates as a plan becomes the way forward, implement and results towards a bright future becomes apparent:.

It is at this stage that an exit plan becomes essential for:

  • Transfer of skills
  • Allow the business to continue
  • For the departing partner to follow their dreams.
  • Value the business for sale without reliance on one or all of the partners

Developing a well thought Exit Plan for changing the roles from running the company to making sure the company runs well. This is important for value for sale will be part of the exit strategy of taking on or both partners in the relationship out of business.

Many couples don’t like to think of what happens when sickness or death occurs to one of the owners. This exit can be abrupt, but planning helps ease the pain. Take Sam and Samantha. Sam is a mechanic and fixes the cars etc., and Samantha runs the office and does the pay. What happens if Sam becomes sick and can not work in the business.?It’s best to plan early to avoid a business facing a crisis due to the death or sickness of a strategic partner.

Four essential tips for couples to start the exit planning process.

  1. Start early and plan
  2. Define each other’s roles and how your role can be replaced in the business
  3. Look at what you both would like to do post business
  4. Engage in a professional that can help you both facilitate the plan and help get the best outcome for both and the business, considering the opportunities of 1 to 3 that were defined earlier in this article.

An exit planner will help you plan as a couple. They can allow each to start expressing their desires without offending the other by acting as a well-trusted mediator. Your exit plan may be a while off for sale. However, one couple’s desire to exit in the business may sooner. So start the conversation now, and your long term future will flourish.

Congratulations to all couples in business.

Living the dream in your business is even more special when you can share it with your life partner and planning that next stage of your life journey together is another exciting chapter that should be cherished and celebrated.

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