It looks like you are in United States. Go to the United States site Arrow right icon

What is Business Succession and Exit Planning?


What is Business Succession and Exit Planning?

By , January 29, 2017
Craig west discussion

Business Succession and Exit Planning is a strategic approach to assessing the most appropriate (and valuable) exit options available to the business owner and designing a strategic succession plan to achieve the preferred outcome.

The Succession Plan must be focused around 3 important factors:

  • Exit readiness and value maximisation for the business;
  • Personal and family wealth management to fund retirement and provide for future generations;
  • Life after business – preparing the owner (and often their family) for what might be several years of retirement.

Focus on these three critical aspects should ensure we’re able to maximise the value of business, achieve a successful exit and guarantee retirement funding and peace of mind for the owner.

Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

Interested in offering staff a stake in your business?
Get your free ESS guide.