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State of Owner Readiness Survey

Curious to see how you ready you are to grow a "forever" company or to pursue your next adventure?  Find out today!

You'll be surprised how much you learn!

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Question 1 of 52

What is your current age?

A

Under 40

B

40 to 52

C

53 to 71

D

Over 70

Question 2 of 52

What is your gender?

A

Male

B

Female

C

Prefer not to answer

Question 3 of 52

What is the range of your company's annual revenue?

A

Below $5 million

B

$5M to $25M

C

$25M to $50M

D

$50M to $100M

E

Over $100M

Question 4 of 52

How was your business started?

A

From scratch

B

Received from family

C

Purchased from family

D

Purchased from third party

E

Other

Question 5 of 52

What is the ownership structure of your company?

A

Family owned (100%)

B

Family owned with outside ownership (family controlled)

C

Family owned with outside ownership (outside ownership controlled)

D

Outside ownership (100%)

E

Public company - not privately held

F

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Question 6 of 52

If family owned, how long has your company been owned by the family?

A

One/first generation

B

Two/second generation

C

Third or more generation

D

Don't know

Question 7 of 52

What industry are you in?  (Select one)

A

Retail

B

Manufacturing

C

Wholesale trade or distribution

D

Business/Professional services

E

Construction

F

Healthcare

G

Transportation

H

Insurance/Financial Services

I

Other

Question 8 of 52

How is your business organized?

A

Limited Liability Corporation

B

S-Corporation

C

C-Corporation

D

Family Limited Partnership

E

ESOP

Question 9 of 52

In what region is your company located?

A

Midwest

B

East

C

Rocky Mountain Region

D

West

E

South

Question 10 of 52

When are you planning to transition the ownership of the company?

A

One to two years

B

Three to five years

C

Six to ten years

D

No plans to transition

Question 11 of 52

Have you completed any formal education related to transitioning a business?

A

Yes

B

No

Question 12 of 52

Are you familiar with all your transition options?

A

Yes

B

No

Question 13 of 52

How much do you agree with the following statement?  Having a transition strategy is important for my future as well as the future of my business?  (Select one)

A

Strongly agree

B

Agree

C

Somewhat Agree

D

Disagree

Question 14 of 52

Have you sought outside advice regarding your transition plan?

A

Yes

B

No

Question 15 of 52

Have you established a formal transition advisory team?

A

Yes

B

No

Question 16 of 52

Please check all advisors that are on your transition team.

(Select all that apply)
A

Corporate Attorney

B

Estate Attorney

C

Securities/Mergers & Acquisitions Attorney

D

Certified Public Accounts (CPA)

E

Wealth or Financial Advisor

F

Exit Planning/Value Growth Advisor

G

Insurance Professional

H

M&A Advisor/Investment Banker

I

Banker/Lender

J

Spouse/Significant Other

K

Other (non-spouse) family member(s)

L

Other

Question 17 of 52

Who do you see as your most trusted advisor (select one)?

A

Banker

B

CPA/Accountant

C

Lawyer

D

Financial/Wealth Advisor

E

Insurance Agent

F

Another business owner or peer group

G

Spouse/Significant Other

H

Other family member (non-spouse)

I

Business Coach

J

Exit Planning/Value Growth Advisor

K

Other

Question 18 of 52

Do you have outside (i.e. non-owner/non-family) board members on your Board?

A

Yes

B

No

C

Do not have a board of advisors or directors

Question 19 of 52

Which statement best describes your post-transition plan for what you will do after you transition your business?

A

I have a written formal plan of what I will do next

B

I have a good informal plan of what I will do next

C

I have an idea, but not a formal plan at this time

D

I have not really thought about what I will do after I transition the business

Question 20 of 52

If you have a personal transition plan indicated in previous question, please check all that your plan encompasses:

(Select all that apply)
A

Written goals & objectives

B

Written action plan

C

Personal Readiness to Transition Assessment

D

Personal Risk Assessment

E

Documented and updated Personal Financial Plan

F

Written Tax Minimization Plan

G

Written Estate Plan

H

Written and updated Will

Question 21 of 52

What do you plan to do post-transition? 

(Select all that apply)
A

Philanthropy, community or civic work

B

Retire/leisure

C

Semi-retire

D

Buy another business

E

Invest in another business

F

Serve on a board of another business

G

Consult

H

No plans on what to do next

I

Other

Question 22 of 52

On the following scale, please rate how “ready” you consider yourself personally to transition away from your business and do something else.  (1 = not at all ready; 6 = completely ready)

A

1

B

2

C

3

D

4

E

5

F

6

Question 23 of 52

How comfortable are you that your managerial team will be successful with the new ownership? (select one)

A

Very comfortable

B

Some concerns

C

Uncomfortable at present time

D

Have not thought about it

Question 24 of 52

What best describes the level of family awareness of the managerial and ownership transition plans? (select one)

A

Aware of both the managerial and ownership plans

B

Aware of managerial plan only

C

Aware of ownership plan only

D

Not aware of either managerial and ownership plans

E

I do not have a transition plan

Question 25 of 52

How often do you have formal family meetings with regards to the business (select one)?

A

Multiple times per year

B

Once (1) per year

C

Less than once per year

D

Never or not in a long, long time

Question 26 of 52

If managerial plans include key positions being filled by family members, how would you assess their level of readiness for this responsibility? (select one)

A

Some family members filling key positions are ready

B

All family members filling key positions are ready

C

None of the family members filling key positions are ready

D

No family members will fill key positions going forward

Question 27 of 52

 If family members are filling key positions which of the following best describes measures being taken to train (excludes college training) these family members? (select one)

A

Formal training within the company only

B

Formal training outside the company

C

Formal training outside and inside the company

D

No formal training

Question 28 of 52

 If there are multiple owners/partners in your business, do you have a written buy-sell agreement and has it been reviewed and updated in the last 3 years? 

A

We have a written buy-sell agreement, but it has not been updated in the last three years

B

Yes, it is written and has been updated within the last three years

C

We do not have a written buy-sell agreement

D

I own 100% of the business

Question 29 of 52

 Is your buy-sell agreement funded by life insurance and/or disability policies?

A

Yes, both life insurance and disability insurance

B

Life insurance only

C

Disability insurance only

D

No, neither life insurance nor disability insurance

Question 30 of 52

Do you have a documented contingency plan in place for the business that addresses the possibility of a forced transition caused by death, divorce, or disability? 

A

Yes, we have a written contingency plan

B

We have a plan, but it has not been documented

C

No. We do not have contingency plans in place

Question 31 of 52

Is your contingency plan funded by life and disability insurance? 

A

Yes, both life insurance and disability insurance

B

Life insurance only

C

Disability insurance only

D

No, neither life insurance nor disability insurance

Question 32 of 52

What best describes your company’s transition plan (select one)?

A

We don't have a plan

B

We have a plan, but it is not documented

C

We have a written plan, but it has not been communicated to management

D

We have a written plan, and it is communicated to management but not to employees

E

We have a written plan, and it is communicated to management and employees

Question 33 of 52

 If you have a company transition plan indicated in previous question, please check all that your plan encompasses:

(Select all that apply)
A

Written Goals & Objectives

B

Written Action Plan

C

Business Market Attractiveness Assessment

D

Business Readiness to Transition Assessment

E

Business Risk Assessment

F

Recasted Financial Statements

G

Business Valuation

H

Stated Value Growth Target or Goal

I

Strategic Analysis and Value Enhancement Plan

J

Written Transition or Value Growth Budget

K

Evaluation of All Transition Options

Question 34 of 52

What best describes how are you planning on transitioning? (select one)

A

Internally - Transfer of ownership within family

B

Internally - Employee Stock Ownership Plan [aka ESOP]

C

Internally - Management buyout or buy-in

D

Internally - Sale to existing partners

E

Externally - Third party strategic, private equity, non-family individual

F

Externally - Recapitalization through other financing means

G

Externally - Orderly liquidation/simply close

H

Other

I

I am not sure

Question 35 of 52

Does your ownership transition plan require the company remain profitable for your plan to be properly executed?

A

Yes, it is critical for the company to be successful for the ownership transition

B

Yes, it helps if the company is successful for the ownership transition

C

No, the success of the ownership transition is not really affected by success of company

D

I do not have a transition plan

Question 36 of 52

Which of the following best represents your current understanding of the value of your company?

A

I have had my business formally valued within the last two years

B

I have a good idea what it is worth

C

I am not sure what my business is worth

Question 37 of 52

Have you completed, in the last two years or have presently underway, a formal pre-transition value enhancement / preliminary due diligence project to reduce risk in the business, maximize its value, and position it to successfully transfer to a new owner?

A

Yes

B

No

Question 38 of 52

How focused are you and your management team on growing the value of your business? 

(Select all that apply)
A

We regularly measure and formally keep track of business value

B

Key management is aware of the valuation of the business

C

Key management has objectives and incentives specifically tied to value growth gains

D

We measure and track the value of intangible assets vs. tangible assets

E

We produce regular recasted financial statements

F

None of the above; Growing business value is not a primary goal of the company

Question 39 of 52

On the following scale, please rate how “ready” your business is to transfer to a new owner.  (1 = not at all ready; 6 = completely ready)

A

1

B

2

C

3

D

4

E

5

F

6

Question 40 of 52

On a scale of 1 to 6, please rate the strength of your personal financial position (strength of financial assets not including the business)  (1 = weak; 6 = strong)

A

1

B

2

C

3

D

4

E

5

F

6

Question 41 of 52

Do you need the income produced by the business to support your present lifestyle?

A

Yes, the business provides most of the income to support my present lifestyle

B

No, my passive financial investments outside my business provide enough income to support my present lifestyle

C

I'm not sure

Question 42 of 52

Have you determined how much you NEED (not want) to net (after taxes) from the transition of your company to fund your retirement or future goals? 

A

Yes

B

No

Question 43 of 52

Do you need (not want) to harvest the value of your business to support your lifestyle post transition?

A

Yes, I need (not want) to harvest the value of my business to support my post transition lifestyle

B

No, I have adequate financial resources outside the business to support my post transition lifestyle

C

I'm not sure

Question 44 of 52

Has your tax minimization plan been updated for the most recent tax law changes?

A

Yes

B

I have a tax minimization plan, but it is not updated

C

I don’t have a tax minimization plan

Question 45 of 52

Has your estate plan been updated in the last two years? 

A

Yes

B

I have an estate plan but it has not been updated in the last two years

C

I don't have an estate plan

Question 46 of 52

Does your estate plan provide for the sale of your business? 

A

Yes

B

No

Question 47 of 52

Does your estate plan include an updated valuation of the business?

A

Yes

B

No

Question 48 of 52

How would you best describe the level to which you have incorporated the transition of your business into your personal financial and estate plan?

A

Incorporated in both financial and estate plans

B

Incorporated into financial plan only

C

Incorporated into estate plan only

D

The transitioning of the business has not been incorporated into either financial or estate plans

Question 49 of 52

What did you learn by completing this assessment?

Question 50 of 52

What do you need to know to feel more confident about your business transition?

Question 51 of 52

How much time are you able to devote each week to preparing for a successful business transition given your current schedule?

Question 52 of 52

On a scale of one to six, how committed are you to actively working on growing your business value and/or your business transition?

A

1 - This was interesting but I'm not interested or committed to it at all at this time.

B

2 - I'm more curious than committed

C

3 - I'm mildly committed. I know I need to start thinking about it and want to learn more

D

4 - I'm committed yet concerned about all the other things on my plate

E

5 - I'm committed and need help to actively pursue it

F

6 - I'm full committed and in the process of transition

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