The further out that a PTP is commenced, the greater opportunity exists to influence the outcomes that are needed, to achieve your goals.

Personal and business life is full of uncertainties and unpredictable events over which we have no control: sudden illness, divorce, financial markets disruption, technology changes, internal and external catastrophic events, and the list continues.

BF strategic Principal Advisor (Geoff Coutts-Smith), for example, acquired his first business at the age 25, when the owner of the business he worked for had a sudden, unexpected heart attack, and had no-one else to turn to, to keep the business going. As Geoff says, “the process itself was less than optimal for everyone, as it had to occur with little planning or time to implement a longer term strategy…luckily, everyone pulled together, but it could have worked so much better for everyone…”.

The level and nature of planning required varies according to every business, and every owner’s circumstances and expectations. In some instances, it may be appropriate to pursue an acquisition of aggregation strategy, whereby valuations are not just increased, but the valuation parameters are improved, and/or the business becomes more of a strategic buy for someone who will pay more for it.

In other instances, it may be:  I just want to sell my business; or a family succession plan may be implemented; a management buyout may be negotiated; conversion to a passive dividend based holding may occur; or a public listing pursued.

Whilst every instance has its own unique characteristics, the underlying core issues are usually constant.

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