One of the most overlooked yet essential steps that a private business owner, or owners, should take is establishing an exit plan. It is vital to know that at the end of years of hard work and dedication the three critical components of success in succession are met – personal goals, financial goals, and business goals. 

More than Just the Face Value of Your Business

The question that most often goes unanswered, or is not known, is “What is my business really worth?” It is possible to get a business valuation to determine a value, but in many cases, there is more to the success of the transition than just the final amount. That is why I decided to study to achieve the Certified Exit Planning Advisor accreditation through the Exit Planning Institute. I want to add value to my clients who are business owners as well as those that I come into contact with throughout my career.

As one of the owners here at Walkner Condon Financial Advisors, I have first-hand experience with understanding the needs of a growing business. We have grown tremendously over the last four years, and I am incredibly grateful for the people I work with and for all of the clients that we get to work for. Creating an exit plan is something that we have discussed and simply put, it is good business. It can and should be a win-win for everyone if the process of exit planning is done thoroughly. Creating a team around you that has professional experience crafting and implementing exit plans is extremely important and can add to the value of the company for the owner or owners. It can also help with the morale of the employees of the company and then increase the chances of long-term success. 

Baby Boomers and Business Ownership

The majority of privately-owned businesses are owned by Baby Boomers, who are being forced to consider the options that they have to exit their businesses at an alarming rate. Every day since 2011, 10,000 people in the United States turned 65. That will continue for a couple of years still. With so many businesses being owned by Baby Boomers, they need to have an exit plan in place that will benefit their personal, financial, and business goals. That is where a Certified Exit Planning Advisor can really add value to these owners by organizing the team of professionals and experts around the ownership group to create and execute this plan. In reality, most companies are not ready to be sold when the owner wants to sell, which makes the exit planning process even more important. 

The Power of Planning Ahead

I am proud of the CEPA designation that I pursued, and I am looking forward to utilizing the skills and knowledge that I learned to help owners as they plan for the inevitable exit of their business. I have already had a handful of conversations with current clients and others in the community, conversations that have reinforced the value that I believe someone with the CEPA designation and expertise can add to financial planning for their personal and business goals. I know one thing is certain in this uncertain business world: You will exit your business at some point…either in a way that you planned for or one that you did not plan for! 


Jonathon Jordan, CFP®, CEPA