Learn Now to Master the Art of Business Transition

Sponsored by Benchmark Wealth Advisory

As a business owner, the time to devise a strong transition or exit plan is not when you’re finally ready to spend more time on the golf course or with family. The time is now.

Tommy Bernard of Benchmark Wealth Advisory, an independent financial services firm in Baton Rouge, works with business owners of all ages on strategies that can help make you more money now, diversify your financial statement, reduce risk, take your business to the next level, and increase your wealth. Our focus is not about the exit, it’s about building a business that is always ready to grow or exit, says Bernard, a Certified Exit Planning Advisor with over 40 years of financial services experience.

Tommy Bernard & Adam Ohlmeyer

“The owner of every privately held business is going to exit their business – either voluntarily or involuntarily,” Bernard says. “There are things that we can discuss and plan for that will make sure you are personally and financially ready whenever you decide the time is right.”

Only 20 to 30 percent of privately owned businesses actually sell when they go to market, and three out of four owners profoundly regretted their decision to exit after 12 months, according to Exit Planning Institute’s 2023 National State of Owners Readiness Report. “The reason is that neither their business nor they were really ready to exit,” Bernard says.

Traditional planning focuses on the end game without giving much thought to figuring out ahead of time if the business or the owner personally is even ready to transition. Bernard and his team can help evaluate and improve the businesses’ intangible capital assets – its human, customer, structural and cultural capital. He says, those four intangibles directly affect the market multiple of a business and comprise about 80 percent of its value, which often surprises business owners.

“The two main reasons every business owner doesn’t have an exit plan is that they don’t know where to start, and it seems too complicated, so they just prolong their actions. Deciding where you want your wealth to land is also a tough decision. There are some legal and tax strategies that people are employing right now to lessen the tax impact of our sunsetting federal estate tax historically high thresholds,” Bernard says.

Additionally, the exit planning strategies recommended are simply good business strategies, so there’s no need to wait to implement them. Significant tax savings and long-term results can be achieved the earlier you start. While your accountant and attorney will play a valuable role, a Certified Exit Planning Advisor with the CEPA designation is able to guide the entire process.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit Benchmark Wealth Advisory online at benchmarkadvisory.com or call 225.761.4012.

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Benchmark Wealth Advisory and Cambridge are separate entities.