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Blue Smoke

Look at the Numbers

12,000,000 closely held businesses in the US

According to U.S. census data, baby boomers aged 55 to 73 own 63% of these companies. Although baby boomers are holding on to their businesses for a longer period, all boomers will reach the age of 70 or older within 15 years and “retirement” age within 10 years. That represents nearly four million baby boomer businesses poised to transition. Assuming a business valuation of 50% of sales, which is reasonable by most standards, that number further represents $10 trillion of wealth poised to transition.

Here is an estimate of the opportunities that exist in businesses in the U.S.

  • 12,000,000 closely held businesses in the US

  • 4,400,000 are successful entities

  • 1,750,000 (40%) are dealing with ownership and business transfer issues

  • 577,500 (33%) plan to sell to a third party

  • 577,500 (33%) plan to sell to family members

  • 315,000 (18%) plan to sell to employees

  • 280,000 (16%) plan to just close their doors

Unlocking this wealth should be of paramount importance to all business owners if for no other reason than most owners have 80 to 90% of their financial wealth locked in their businesses. Given the significance of this asset in an owner’s wealth portfolios, the ability to monetize this wealth at some point will have a significant impact on an entrepreneur’s financial security and lifestyles once he or she exits the businesses.

Our experience have shown that many business owner advisors are not equipped to handle this phase of the business lifecycle so the natural tendency is to avoid talking to their clients about these issues, because it is outside of their comfort zone.

Using trained professionals like Plan My Business Exit for these efforts is a financially sound step to take because it can begin to establish the proper timelines and steps needed to prepare for an effective exit even if that transition is still many years away.

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Blue Smoke



We are business transition specialists. We help owners, family members, and advisors evaluate exit and succession options and implement plans to successfully transition businesses.



Executive Center:

38 North Holly Avenue

Fox lake, IL, 60020

Main Line:                            888.938.2975

Tim Foster's Direct Line:     724.518.0604

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