Why Exit Plan Alignment Is So Often a Conundrum for Co-Owners

By: Patrick Ungashick


The image of the business owner alone at the top is a myth for most businesses.

About 70 percent of the six million privately held businesses in the United States have more than one owner, and the average number of owners per business is nearly three.*

This means there are approximately twelve million US business co-owners.

Practically all of them want to successfully exit from their businesses one day, and practically all of them will find that their path to exiting successfully requires aligning their exit plans with those of their co-owners.

This is where the challenge begins...

Put two or more business co-owners together, and it is virtually inevitable that they will have different exit goals.

For example, one co-owner wants to exit sooner; another wants to exit later. One wants to sell the business; another wants to pass it down to his or her children. One needs more money at exit to be happy; another needs less. One wants a quick exit; another wants to stay with the company for longer.

Sometimes the different exit goals are only partially or marginally conflicting. In many situations, however, the co-owners’ different exit goals are incompatible, meaning the pursuit and fulfillment of one co-owner’s goals will undermine or block another co-owner from achieving his, or her, goals.

Your future deserves your present attention; if you are like most business owners, you have worked too hard and accomplished too much to surrender control over the eventual outcome.

Every business owner needs an exit plan.

Yet business co-owners have to go one step further. They must consider and create exit plans that provide for not only their success, but also enable others to enjoy exit success too. Planning ahead not only gives you the opportunity to one day dance in the end zone, it also creates the chance for your co-owners to share the dance with you.

*CMI. Business Owners Exit Readiness Market Research Survey

To learn more on this important and challenging subject, download our FREE NAVIX eBook: The Co-Owner's Conundrum: Achieving Exit Alignment Among Business Co-Owners.

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