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Grow A Small Business Podcast

Nov 18, 2020

In this episode, I interview Craig West, the Founder, and CEO of Succession Plus, author, keynote speaker, strategic adviser, and leading authority on Succession and Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOP). Craig is a strategic accountant who has over 25 years' 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.

Following 6 yrs of study to gain two master's degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of taxation issues in exit planning. This experience formed a very strong view that the majority of business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare for exit. Craig then designed and documented a unique process to assist owners and their advisers prepare for exit.

He now acts as a strategic business and financial mentor for mid-market business owners. He has written four critically acclaimed books educating business owners on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection, and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia and internationally. In March 2014, Craig was appointed Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, an organization focused on improving the success of SMEs in Australia, and in October of the same year, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year by the Exit Planning Institute in Texas, USA. The award was as a result of his innovative development of a 21 step exit planning process to help business owners maximize business value and achieve a successful exit. His proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the ESOP of the Year twice in four years. Don’t miss this episode as Craig comes on to share highly valuable expertise with you. Enjoy!

This Cast Covers:

  • Becoming an exit planning expert because he hated being an accountant.
  • The importance of small business owners learning how to extract the value of their businesses.
  • Giving people a better understanding of ESOPs (Employee Share Ownership Plans)
  • How ESOPs contribute to a 7% to 23% improvement in business performance.
  • Developing a simple way to explain, design, and implement an ESOP in a business.
  • The great return a small business owner can get from investing in the implementation of an employee share ownership plan.
  • Getting small incremental amounts of money out of your business each year by selling part of the business to your employees.
  • The popular business exit method where employees can end up owning the business they work for.
  • The reward of equity in a business versus a cash reward.
  • Implementing a succession strategy sooner rather than later to allow for a proper exit over time.
  • Avoiding the “Us and Them” way of doing things to ensure the growth of your business and how ESOPs can help.
  • How an employee share plan in a professional service firm can work to lock in employees and incentivize them to perform better.
  • The Win-Win-Win model he focuses on when designing an ESOP for a business.
  • Committing to getting your ESOP to keep your employees, improve their performance, and get a great return in both the short and long term.
  • The value of getting clear on what your exit strategy is before you start and build your business.
  • How to cash in at the end to fund your retirement or your next venture.

Additional Resources:

Music from "Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (