Establish Your Goals

Setting goals is a critical element of any transition plan. Carefully evaluating and documenting your long-term goals will help you develop solid criteria for choosing the best options and help streamline the planning process.

Firm goals

  • How aggressively do you plan to grow your firm?
  • Do you want to expand to new markets and new services?
  • How flexible is the firm’s culture and how may potential growth through M&A impact it?
  • What value do you place on your client experience?
  • What would you like to see happen to your firm after the transition?
  • Could you walk away tomorrow without impact to the firm’s success?

Employee goals

  • Would you like to make it possible for your current employees to eventually own the business?
  • Is it possible for you to find a qualified successor?
  • What value do you place on employee engagement?
  • Do your employees significantly contribute to the growth of the firm?

Lifestyle goals

  • How important is work/life balance?
  • What will you do after you transition your business?
  • How much longer would you like to remain in business?
  • Do you want to transition out of the business over time or are you looking for a more immediate transition?

Financial goals

  • What is the value of your firm?
  • What are your revenue and profitability goals?
  • How much capital do you need to sustain your lifestyle after transitioning your business?
  • How will you distribute your assets?
  • Philanthropic goals
  • Do you want to leave a legacy?
  • Do you have community interests you would like to continue to support?
  • Do you have philanthropic or charitable giving interests?

Consider All Stakeholders

When setting your goals, consider all who have something to gain or lose in a transition. Major stakeholders may include:

  • Clients
  • Employees
  • Owner
  • Owner's spouse
  • Owner's family
  • Business partners
  • Referral sources
  • Community
  • Vendors and service providers

NEXT: Assess Your Business