Contractor Exit Strategy 6 of 6: Sale to Employees (ESOP)

Contractor Exit Strategy 6 of 6: An ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is a qualified defined contribution employee benefit plan designed primarily to invest in the company’s stock.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture
Share

This is a more complex and costly structure to set up and maintain but also comes with some tax advantages. And while these costs and savings are easy to model, they should not be your deciding factor in whether a ESOP should be all or part of your exit strategy.

Succession: Exit Strategy 6 of 6 - Sale to Employees (ESOP).

For starters, this exit strategy should be weighed against a sale to management because all the same prerequisites have to be met, including having strong leadership, an aligned management team, and a business that is continually generating excess cash flow for funding of the deal.  

The big initial questions to really dig into:

  • Will broader employee ownership make the business operate better than having a smaller group of managing owners who carry more of the risk but also have more to gain?
  • Is the culture truly prepared for an ESOP? In a leveraged ESOP, often other contributions to retirement programs and bonuses are cut back which can demoralize a team without the proper education.
  • Will your bank and surety be onboard with an ESOP?

Resources:


Succession
Continue building value in your business, yourself and your key team members with a good succession strategy....

Succession
Continue building value in your business, yourself and your key team members with a good succession strategy....

Incentive Compensation for Contractors - Prerequisites
From Stephen Covey’s top selling book, “Seven Habits for Highly Effective People,” Habit #2 is to “Start With The End in Mind.” This principle applies to organizations in general and incentive programs in particular.
Contractor Scoreboard - Disciplined Execution
As contractors get larger it becomes more challenging to keep everyone aligned around the strategy and the key measures of success. To keep your scoreboard improving on all key measures you will need to develop operating rhythms and feedback systems.
Change Management Foundation
There are four foundational items that support great change management. Without these in place, you will never get the value out of streamlining the process.