Author Peter G. Christman recently sat for an interview with Small Business Trendsetters to discuss his latest book and to detail his process to help small business owners who are interested in exiting their companies before transitioning to the next phase of their lives. The book, aptly titled The Master Plan, details the steps business owners need to take to ensure the proper valuation of their firms and to successfully exit the world of owning a business. According to Christman, the book was written especially for the baby boomers who own businesses but who are now at a point in their lives where they need to prepare for their future retirement or other ventures. He also kept the book short because, as he puts it, busy owners don’t have time to sit and read long books. They want short reads that are filled with important information that makes an immediate impact. In fact, Christman said during the interview, “It’s not a question of if a business owner will plan to transition away from their business but rather how and when!”
His book is designed as a template for a successful transition that any business owner can immediately begin to implement. Christman further states, “This book was written for owners of privately held companies, whose values are between 2-3 million to 150-200 million. These are the people that we can really mentor and bring them a higher company value, as well as help them define what the future will look like for the rest of their life.”
The Small Business Trendsetters article reveals Christman to be perhaps the foremost authority on helping business owners with their exit strategies. We learn that Christman built his career selling private companies after determining their maximum valuation and after many years in this field, he turned to educating and mentoring business owners. These business owners, according to Christman, have worked hard all of their adult lives and need guidance to exit their roles as business owners in the most positive and lucrative way possible. The Master Plan is the second book Christman has lent his name to. In 2005, he was the co-author of The 10 Trillion Dollar Opportunity, which also focused on baby boomers and how they were handling their business affairs at the turn of the century. His advice is so sought after that he is a bestselling author, not just in the United States but globally, with his work appearing on the international best seller list in eight countries, including eight separate categories in Australia and seven in the United States.
For Christman, his experience in dealing with business owners compelled him to develop organizations and strategies to help these business owners come out on top. Christman tells the interviewer how difficult it can be to get business owners to trust an outside advisor since, after all, these are men and women who have successfully navigated the business world for decades. Christman points out, however, that they are often myopically focused on their own worlds and don’t see the bigger picture. He reaches these business owners by revealing a startling fact. “Fifty percent of business owners leave their business through ‘The Five Ds,’” Christman says. “These are death, divorce, disability, debt, or disaster, and there is no excuse for this.”
Christman speaks to the theme of this latest book and his life’s work when he talks about the heart of the subject matter. There are three keys to the Master Plan strategy, which Christman refers to as legs, as in the legs of a stool. Like the metaphor suggests, all three legs must be fully developed for the plan to stand. These legs include helping business owners maximize the value of a business, gain the best planning advice from tax, estate, and financial advisors, and develop a life plan so they can lead successful and productive lives after they exit their businesses.
Christman is passionate about this book. He believes the book is so fundamental that he wrote it to demonstrate a process for privately held business owners to implement in order to gain greater corporate value and, of course, make more money while insuring against the business risks of “The Five Ds.” It is targeted for all business owners but especially for the people who are thinking about winding down. Christman leaves the reader with this powerful statement, “I believe that all business owners must act now due to the fact that they are human and have no life guarantees for the future.”
The Master Plan was published on February 19, 2015 and is currently available on Amazon.com
ABOUT PETER CHRISTMAN
Peter Christman is the founder and CEO of The Christman Group and co-founder of the Exit Planning Institute. He built his career selling companies and is the creator of an exclusive auction marketing process that has enabled him to effectively sell privately held companies on the open market. Christman is also known for creating a proprietary exit planning process which lays out, among other things, how to get the greatest value for a company. He is also a successful author and co-wrote the 2005 book, The 10 Trillion Dollar Opportunity, a book that speaks to the plight of the baby boomers in the first decade of the twenty-first century. After many years of selling companies, Christman left that line of work and today, he mentors business owners through the Master Planning process, which ensures they get the best value from their businesses and achieve their lifelong goals and objectives. He founded the Master Planning Institute to educate business owners and their advisors in the Master Planning process and recently wrote his latest book to explain this Master Plan to business owners. Christman is often in demand as a speaker on privately held business owners and their futures!