When the time comes for you to leave your business, Crossroads Advisers can help you make your final move, profitably

Web 200702 C1807 820
Chris Goebel’s Crossroads Advisers offers business transition planning, handling the sale of a business, and business management and advisory services. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Ken McEntee

Business owners know too well how quickly time disappears.

A business starts with an idea, then transitions to wide-eyed dreaming and planning for growth. Then, faster than you realize it, the time arrives to think about retiring.

So, what about the business that you poured your time, money and energy into—perhaps for decades? Can you sell it? What’s it worth? Do your sons and daughters aspire to carry on the legacy?

Tragically, many business owners have no exit strategy in place when the time comes to retire—or when a tragedy takes the owner out of the picture, laments Chris Goebel, owner of Crossroads Advisers, a specialist in business transitions and member of Legacy Business Advisors.

“Forty percent of business owners have no retirement savings,” Chris says. “Many business owners have neglected this critical component of financial preparedness in favor of reinvesting into their company, and they trust that their future income needs will be realized when they transition out of their business. However, too often these same owners don’t have a plan for the future operation of their business.”

Chris suggests that exit planning should begin during the early stages of the business.

“The sooner you establish an exit strategy, the better you will manage your business moving forward,” Chris insists. “The trick is to run your business like you’re going to own it forever, but be ready to sell it tomorrow.”

Chris’ lifelong involvement in operating and selling a super successful family business gives him a unique perspective built on real life experience. One of nine children in his family, Chris advanced from a floor sweeper to president and general manager of Lakefront Lines and Hopkins Airport Limousine Service—a business his father started in 1964.

“I learned first-hand from the bottom up about commitment, dedication, family dynamics, business acumen and what it takes to transform a mom and pop business to a $40 million family enterprise,” Chris says.

He later discovered something that he may have enjoyed even more than being a part of the family business—the process of selling it.

“We sold to a private equity firm in 2008, then we sold again to a publicly traded company in 2012,” he recalls. “I was intrigued by the process and complexities of the transition side. Most people find it very stressful. I found it exciting.”

So much so that he decided to help other businesses plan and execute their transitions.

Crossroads Advisers specializes in pre-business transition planning, including succession and exit strategies, and business growth and preparation planning. Chris assists businesses with annual sales between $1 million and $15 million.

“I bring the perspective of a business owner who actually has been through the transition process,” he says.

The three main services Chris offers are:

  • Business transition planning
  • Handling the sale of the business
  • Management and advisory services

“One hundred percent of all businesses have to transition at some point in time,” Chris emphasizes. “Only 30 percent of all businesses transfer internally. That means that 70 percent of them will be sold outside the family. To maximize the price of the sale, it is critical to establish a plan early, and manage your business for optimum value.”

In the coming months, Chris will offer valuable tips to Mimi readers about optimizing the value of their businesses and de-stressing the transition process.

But you needn’t delay your planning. As a Mimi reader, you may qualify for a complimentary business valuation.

To learn more about Crossroads Advisers, call 216-202-4296 or visit CrossroadsAdvisers.com.