We’ve worked with business owners for the past 20 years—and we’ve been business owners ourselves. Through this, we have come to understand the different levels of needs as well as the complexities business owners face. Our experience led us to develop a comprehensive process to support you, the business owner, at every stage of your business lifecycle.

Our owner-directed process combines personal financial planning with business planning. Our mission is to ensure that you obtain the maximum net value of your life’s work.

It starts with a customized progress map that you can initiate at any stage of ownership. We collaborate with you to create a plan that aligns your vision and goals. As fiduciaries, we find solutions that are in your best interest and strive to position you for success at each point. Whether you are new to the life of a CEO or identify as a serial entrepreneur, we arm you with the power and competitive advantages to help take control of your future.

Depending on the level of maturity of the business, each company operates at one of three stages. The first stage: Startup. The second is where the business becomes viable and profitable. And the third: You have a mature business that, ideally, would be sold or transferred in the next five years.

Your Business Advisor provides knowledge and experience to help you with the distinct needs of each stage. As we take the business owner through each of these stages, the goal remains the same: Enhance enterprise value.

Business Stages

Stage 1: New Business

Business Advisor role:

  • Assist with structuring a business plan

  • Build out trusted advisors such as Attorney, CPA, and Wealth Advisor to assist with setting up the business properly

  1. Attorney: To assist with your Articles of Incorporation, certain Compliance, Copyright and Trademarking, etc.

  2. CPA: To set up your chart of accounts, create your financial statements, prepare your taxes, etc.

  3. Wealth Advisor: To assist with the creation of a Financial Plan, Retirement Plan, Budget, Investment and Asset Management, etc.

  • Ensure the business has the appropriate insurance such as General and Professional Liability, Property, Business Owner's Policy, Directors and Officers, etc.

Stage 2: Established Business

Business Advisor role:

  • Create a retirement plan for the business owner or review your existing retirement plan to identify any need for additional complementary retirement plans, such as a defined benefit plan to maximize retirement savings. Alternatively, we can customize a plan based on the needs of your business.

  • Review all aspects of insurance such as individual life insurance, buy/sell life insurance, disability, etc.

  • Assist with business valuation and growth assessment: Know what your business is worth, how this impacts future scenarios, and what you can do today that could enhance your business and help maintain control of your options.

  • Conduct a Business Performance Assessment which measures an individual’s attitudes/agreement on a variety of key brand-business alignment statements. This helps identify strategic growth opportunities by looking at alignment with customers/internal parameters, where the company stands compared to its peers and competitors, and how your brand is perceived.

Stage 3: Mature Business

Business Advisor role:

  • Progress Mapping: Our combined approach to planning integrates your personal timeline and goals with your business needs, outlining a clear progression toward the future you envision.

  • Create an Exit Strategy: Assist a business owner with timeline, option analysis, and considerations for exit and transfer of the business, based on the business owner’s personal and professional goals and objectives.

  • Create or review the business owner’s personal financial plan, including insurance and liability, tax and estate planning, retirement planning, and investment and asset management.

  • Work with you to find the right team to assist with all facets of the exit and transfer process—for example, a business broker, transaction counsel experienced in market and industry conditions, etc.

  • Plan your “third act”: Through a standard testing process, we assess how thoroughly your identity and personality is ingrained in your business. We look at the detailed results to determine what kind of materials and coaching you may need to increase your satisfaction and enjoy your future after your exit.

Transferability is the Key

The business you have created is most likely your most significant financial asset. But if that business is not transferable, that value can’t be realized.

Take a moment now to ask: Are these aspects of your business transferable?

·  Talent
·  Client/customer relationships
·  Processes and technology
·  Culture

Transitioning a business requires a plan—not only for your business, but for you and your family. The plan must be well thought-out and able to be well executed. Typically, you’ll need to start planning for your exit three to five years in advance, at a minimum, to fully leverage all available options.

Personal Financial Planning

Once you transfer or sell your business, you will be met with a distinct set of needs. There’s a liquidity event; you’ll be left with a pool of assets. What are you going to do with those assets? How do you come up with a financial plan to make sure you have that stream of income in perpetuity, the same kind that you had while you were involved in the business?
Alternatively, if you transfer the business, you won’t have a big liquidity event. Instead, you’ll need a financial plan in place to budget your cash flow and invest appropriately, given your new retirement status.

We’ll look at key components including:

· Personal financials – balance sheet
· Personal income and savings summary
· Personal liabilities and expenses summary
· Value gap analysis
· Retirement analysis

Why Choose Hightower Westchester?

Tunnel vision is one of the biggest hazards when making significant changes. We empower business owners to consider the full landscape of strategic opportunities available for the growth or transfer of their business.

Business valuation assessment:

Know what your business is worth, how this impacts future scenarios, and what you can do today that could enhance your business and help maintain control of your options.

Owner-led consultation at every stage:

You deserve the same individualized attention that you give your business and customers. We avoid “one-size-fits-all” approaches. Driven by the Fiduciary Standard, we offer holistic, comprehensive, long-term strategies.

Your path to success:

From your next business venture through retirement, we help you pursue your goals for all phases of your life.

The right time:

Whether you anticipate transitioning in two years or fifteen—you determine the timeline, while we help optimize processes to help you benchmark and accomplish your goals.

Progress mapping:

Our combined approach to planning integrates your personal timeline and goals with your business needs, outlining a clear progression toward the future you envision.

Exit Planning Quiz

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, talk to us about how to get your exit planning strategy in place.

  • Do you know when you want to leave your business?

  • Have you decided whether you would like to transfer or sell your business?

  • Do you know what “your number” is? Have you figured out how much cash or annual cash flow you will need to support your lifestyle?

  • Do you know how much your business is worth today?

  • Do you know how to maximize your tax efficiency upon the sale or transfer of your business?

  • Do you have a plan for your business if you are unable to continue working or in the event of your death?

  • Do you have the appropriate team members that can help in this process from CPA, attorney and wealth advisor?

  • Do you have an estate plan?


Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build your legacy

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