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Securian 2015 Small Business Owner Life Stage Study .pdf

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Securian Financial Group

Small Business Owners Plan to Exit, but Aren’t Exit Planning
2015 Small Business Owner Life Stage Study
Small business owners put their blood, sweat, tears and resources into building their businesses.
But when it comes to figuring how to make a graceful exit from the business, most are unprepared.
That’s a key finding of a Securian-sponsored nationwide study of small business owners. The study
focused on successful private businesses—averaging 27 employees with annual revenue ranging
from $250,000 to more than $20 million—in a variety of enterprises.
The study found...
The vast majority of small business owners
don’t have a plan for exiting the business

Selling or transferring the business is the most
likely exit strategy

• 37 percent want to transfer the business to
a family member.

• 25 percent want to sell to a partner or
key employee.

• 25 percent want to sell to a third party.
• 10 percent expect to close or wind the
business down.

Have no exit plan

72 percent don’t have a plan and aren’t taking action.
Only 14 percent have a formal exit strategy in place.
Another 14 percent are working on a plan, but
haven’t completed it.

A majority will leave within a decade
The exit is not that far down the road for most
small business owners: 29 percent expect to leave
the business within five years, and 54 percent
anticipate being gone within 10 years.

Is exit planning necessary?
For most small business owners, the business is their largest
asset. By not managing and planning for that asset, the
owner risks leaving its fate to chance.
It’s not unlikely that a business owner would have to leave
the business before planning to. Health issues or a change
in the business or economy often lead to sooner-thananticipated retirements. There’s also the risk of exposing the
future of the business to the events no one wants to think
about: death or disability.
Failing to develop an exit plan can leave the business, the
family of the business owner, the businesses’ partners and
employees in a very difficult situation. Planning matters.
A financial advisor who understands business exit planning
can be a key ally in helping business owners address this
important issue.

Exit within 5 years

Exit within 10 years
Source: Securian Financial Group 2015 Small Business Owner Life Stage Study

Securian Financial Group, Inc.
400 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55101-2098
©2016 Securian Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
F67615-8 Rev 3-2016 DOFU 3-2016

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