Maximizing Succession Planning and Business Transitions with the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation

Maximizing Succession Planning and Business Transitions with the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation Main Photo

13 Mar 2024

As a business owner, you will eventually want to transition away from the day-to-day responsibilities of running your business. You may be considering selling your company and starting a new business, looking to retire, or simply looking to find someone else to take the reins of the company you’ve built. Every business owner knows they can’t work forever, and there will come a time when they begin to think seriously about their business succession options.

Succession Plan vs. Exit Plan

Research by the Exit Planning Institute shows that 66% of the current American business market is owned by people 57 years or older, with many of these owners typically planning to retire and transition their businesses over the next ten years. These plans are often interrupted due to an unexpected life event that forces them to retire or sell.

Succession planning focuses on identifying, training, and transferring leadership to ensure a smooth transition and operational continuity. It is crucial for stability, especially in family-owned businesses or those with clear internal talent pipelines.

Exit planning, on the other hand, involves selling or transferring ownership to an external party when an owner wants to retire or cash out. This process includes preparing the business for sale, assessing its value, and finding suitable buyers.

Don’t let an unexpected life event force you to sell your business when you aren’t ready. Ensure that any exit from your business ventures happens on your terms. Now is the time to start preparing for your exit and prepping your company for any eventuality.

Secure Your Legacy: Start Planning Your Exit Strategy Now

It’s never too early to begin planning for a potential exit. If the worst happens, your company will be ready to change hands at a profit and continue operating successfully under new management. In the best-case scenario, you’ll build it up to be a successful enterprise with the highest possible value and revise your exit strategy repeatedly before you sell. Either way, optimizing your value with your eventual exit in mind gives you the best chance of reaping the benefit of your hard work — no matter when that time comes.

40% of Iowa Businesses Operate Without Succession Plans

Through our partnership with Buena Vista University, we created BizBaton, a nonprofit organization that helps business owners connect with a network of savvy entrepreneurs seeking acquisitions. Our team at Iowa Lakes Corridor and BizBaton offer invaluable insights and connections for business owners.

We understand the complexities of a sale or transition and are equipped with industry-specific knowledge, legal support, and financial partners to facilitate the process seamlessly. As your partner, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation can assist you in listing your business for sale or exploring buying opportunities, ensuring the uninterrupted life cycle of businesses in Northwest Iowa.

Prepare for the Future: Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation Hosts Business Succession Panel

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we want to keep them here! As current business owners look at retirement or options for selling their businesses, tools are available to help. Whether you want to sell in 12 months or 12 years, it is never too soon to start planning for your business to continue!

Panelists include:

  • Kirsten Case Fuller, Regional Director of the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center 
  • Dan Nieland, Small Business Education Specialist for Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development at Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach
  • Duane Johnson, Program Manager for Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development at Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach
  • Gary Sterling, MBA, Instructor at Buena Vista University’s Harold Walter Siebens School of Business, and Director of Rural Entrepreneurship at the Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

Join the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation on March 20, from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. at Buena Vista University, for a panel discussion about resources available to ensure a smooth business transition to new ownership.