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Webinars for Business Owners Looking to Exit Their Business

Posted Dec, 23, 2009

Timely planning helps small business owners exit their business on their terms while retaining jobs in our communities

The Ohio Employee Ownership Center’s Succession Planning Program at Kent State University has partnered with the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to present a series of free webinars for small business owners on exit planning. The program is designed to provide business owners with the information they need to get started with their business transition. The webinars start Jan. 5 and run through Feb. 25.

Given the turbulent economy, many business owners feel that they cannot afford to take the time and spend the money to plan for exiting their business. Often they will say "Retire? I am trying to make it past this week. I'll worry about that later! Besides, my business is worth less than it was six months ago." Unfortunately, this is almost always the wrong approach. Many business owners think that the time to start planning to exit their business is when times are good. The irony is, done in this fashion, by the time the owner has completed the planning process and is ready to pull the trigger (a process that can take 10 months or 10 years), the economy may have turned down again. This may make the transaction less desirable from the owner's point of view. A more recommended approach might be to plan when times are good or bad, and pull the trigger when times are good.

Studies show that those owners who complete timely succession planning achieve a higher number of their objectives. “The consequence of the absence of succession planning is that frequently businesses are sold to competitors, often at bargain basement prices, who may consolidate operations, or the business may need to be liquidated to pay estate taxes, or in a worst case scenario, medical bills,” said Chris Cooper of the Business Succession Planning Program at Kent State. “This can lead to business and job loss. We believe that the failure to plan for business succession in small and middle-sized closely held businesses is the leading preventable cause of job loss in the United States.”

Exiting Your Business: Winter 2010 Small Business Succession Planning Webinars
All sessions are at 10 a.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. There is no charge to attend.
Participants will need a computer, internet connection and a phone to participate in the webinars. No
software download or configuration is required. For those who are unable to attend a webinar live, each one will be recorded and archived on the Ohio Employee Ownership Center’s Web site.

The Winter 2010 webinar schedule is: 
1. Jan. 5 – Selling to an Outside Buyer: Managing the Process – Kipp Krukowski, Confidential Business Sale, Inc.
2. Jan. 7 – Where the Business Plan, Strategic Plan and Succession Plan Meet – Jim Aussem – Cavitch Familo & Durkin
3. Jan. 19 – Employee Ownership Sustainability: Will Your ESOP Last Forever? – Jim Steiker, SES Advisors, Inc. and Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple
4. Jan. 21 – Selling to Managers/Key Person(s) – Dave Gustafson, Apple Growth Partners
5. Feb. 9 – Small Business Planning for Multiple Shareholders – Tom Gilbride, Gilbride & Company
6. Feb. 11 – Maximizing the ESOP Benefit: Employee Ownership Culture – Jay Simecek, Ohio Employee Ownership Center
7. Feb. 23 – Issues as an Employee-Owned Co-operative Matures – Leslie Schaller, ACEnet
8. Feb. 25 – Selling Your Business to an Employee-Owned Co-operative: Doing the Deal – Mark Stewart, Shumaker Loop & Kendrick

The Succession Planning Program’s Web site has many additional resources for business owners exploring exiting their business, including:
• Additional recorded webinars archived from previous series
• Full downloadable text and video clips from the book/DVD combo: “An Owners Guide to Business Succession Planning”
• Articles related to succession/exit planning issues
• A directory of professionals (lawyers, accountants, financial planners, etc.) who can help business owners design and implement their plans

To register or for more information about the webinar series, visit www.oeockent.org/index.php/successionplanning/resources/webinars.

For more information on the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, visit www.oeockent.org, call 330-672-3028 or e-mail oeoc@kent.edu.

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Media Contacts:
Chris Cooper, ccooper1@kent.edu, 330-672-0338
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595