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Joan M. Ridley
Pres., CFP™, CEPA, CBI

2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75219

E-MAIL:  info@businesswealthsolutions.net
PHONE: 214.692.9192
FAX: 214.523.9001

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Can I Leave Soon or Work Less Now


Joan M. Ridley, CEPA, CBI, CFP™

I'm going to give an attorney-like answer - "it depends". It depends on 1) how dependent you are on the business for income or investible assets 2) how dependent the business is on you and 3) how dependent you are on the business for your own personal well-being. Digging a little deeper, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I independently wealthy. That is, can I support my desired lifestyle and gifting plans without taking any income or assets from my business
  • Can the business run totally without me, and, will revenues and profitability continue to increase if I am not there
  • Will all key people and needed employees remain if I am not there
  • Will there be peace in my family if and when I leave the business

It all comes down to this one question:

are you and your business sustainable without one another?

Obtaining the answers to these questions to see where you stand is a fairly simple matter, and, for some, it takes courage. The good news is, there are advisors out there who have the expertise to help you get to where you want to go. A friendly word of caution is in order here – this is not a DIY project. You will need some help. Ask anyone who has been through it. Also, just because they completed an ownership or management transition doesn't mean that their transition was successful. If they weren't totally pleased with the outcome, I would argue that it was not a success. Remember that 75% of business owners who have sold, within 12 months wish they hadn't. They learned the facts after the fact.

First steps you can take on your own

  1. Obtain a credible estimate of the enterprise value of your business, how sustainable it would be without you, and how attractive it is to potential acquirers and their bankers (hint: most business valuations will not provide all of this information). Click here for more information if your business has $8MM + in revenues. Utilize the Value Builder if your business has under $8MM in revenues.
  2. Find out from a credible source how dependent you are on the invested equity from your business. Visit www.plannersearch.org for more info or call us at 214-692-9192 for a no-obligation referral
  3. To learn more about how to address your personal attachment to the family business visit www.ffi.org. Call us at 214-692-9192 for an introduction to someone who can help you address your attachment to the business.
  4. Establish a process to address the issues that will turn your wishes and desires into a reality.

We can help you get started, both locally and across the country, through our large network of trusted colleagues. Call us today at 214-692-9192 to learn more and visit our website at www.bwsllc.net

Copyright 2015 Joan M. Ridley


Joan M. Ridley is President of Business Wealth Solutions, a business consultancy that helps business owners protect, preserve, and enhance value, often in preparation for management or ownership transition for manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and B2B services, coordinating her efforts with the client’s personal financial advisors. She is a Certified Business Intermediary, Certified Business Exit Planner, and a Certified Financial Planner™. In 2013 she received the first Excellence in Exit Planning Award conferred by the Exit Planning Institute for her pioneering contribution to this new discipline. She is the Founder of the North Texas Chapter of The Exit Planning Institute. Call 214-692-9192 and visit www.bwsllc.net.

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