Services for Business Owners

Exit Planning

Christopher Financial works with business owners who desire to successfully exit their business, but don't know how to accomplish that goal. We use a systematic approach to take control of the succession planning process in order to maximize the value a business owner receives on the sale, while helping to create the tax efficiency you deserve.

The biggest issue is how a business owner converts their largest illiquid asset into the most cash possible, while achieving a variety of other objectives, such as personal financial security, maintaining harmony in the family, and achieving maximum value for the business regardless of the eventual buyer. Exit planning allows owners to leave on their own timeframe while preparing their company to be transferred to family members, key employees, an outside party or perhaps benefiting a charity as you transfer out of ownership.

We begin where most advisors depart – by helping you crystallize your personal and professional goals and objectives. Most business owners recognize the importance of preparing an exit strategy, but few are prepared for it. Exodus will work with your current advisors to create your “Exit Plan Road Map”. If you are like most of our clients, your largest financial investment is your business, and we can assist you in benefiting from your life’s work.

As a financial adviser for Eagle Strategies LLC, John A. Christopher does charge a fee for his financial advisory services. This fee is not for peace of mind or a cursory business overview. John will spend the time necessary to understand your personal and professional goals and help you accomplish them.

Exit Planning Process

Formulating an exit strategy is a process that businesses go through to prepare for a sale or a transition in the company. The exit strategy is a six-step process, but the steps do not necessarily occur in the following order.

  • The first step is setting your exit objectives. It is important that you determine exactly what you are trying to accomplish through the sale or transition of your company.
  • After your objectives are solidified, the next step in the process is to place the right value on your business. Doing so will help minimize your tax consequences.
  • In the next step, we want to protect and promote the value of your company by reducing the impact of your taxes and protecting the company from creditors. We also try to conserve and grow value as we go through this phase.
  • Next we will decide to whom we are going to sell your company and how. Perhaps it will be a key employee, a family member, or an insider. Will they be paying cash or will the sale be for a note?
  • In step number five, we will help you develop a business contingency plan to be implemented if something unexpectedly happens to you. We will help you establish a plan that will help secure your family’s future.
  • This is the step where we help you protect the wealth that you have acquired over the years from your business. We help you secure your family’s future and lower the transfer of wealth taxes that your family might face.

Exit Readiness Assessment

Have you considered the following, let us help you anser these questions:

  • Do you have retirement goals and know what steps you need to take to reach them?
  • Do you know the cash value of your company today?
  • Do you know how you can effectively maximize your income stream through your ownership interest?
  • Do you know the best way to sell your business to a third party while paying the least possible amount in taxes?
  • Do you know how to pay the least taxes possible when you transfer your business to family members or others?
  • If something unexpectedly happens to you, do you have a solid continuity plan in place?
  • Do you have a plan to protect your family financially if something happens to you?

Employee Benefits

Exodus Business Strategies is an extension of Christopher Financial Group and is specifically licensed to provide Group Employee Benefit coverage to businesses throughout the Chicago and Indiana region dating back to the early 1970’s.

Approach - The firm's philosophy has been to listen and to understand the client’s needs, thus, developing a solution that encourages choice and flexibility. The success of this philosophy has allowed Exodus to establish many outstanding long-term relationships.

Goal - To continue to drive exceptional client satisfaction by deploying innovative solutions that complement the HR Team or Function for the business owner, CFO and/or Controller who routinely support the employee’s needs on a regular basis while continuing to maintain their own responsibilities within the company. We expect our clients tofeel as if they are the “Big Fish” in the “Small Pond” concept while Exodus assists with assuming the role of achieving employee satisfaction for our clients.

Philosophies & Competencies

Communication - Providing benefit guides to assist in delivering consistent and quality employee benefit material to be used in the office or at the home. The expectation is to reinforce the employee's knowledge of the benefits.

Compliance - Providing the knowledge and certainty to our clients when the need to guide them through the various nuances of Healthcare Reform.

Experience - Delivering 42 plus years of Carrier, Broker, and Human Resources Knowledge and Benefit Management.

Financial Analysis - Simply put, we cannot and do not attempt to spend our clients premium dollars...we simply guide our clients in the most practical manner to reduce premiums by recommending and matching the employee demographics to the most appropriate plans designs within HMO, PPO, and HRA/HSA Plans.

Risk Management - Thinking outside the box by providing the products and services to minimize the unforeseen risks that are clients encounter on a daily basis. After our assessment our recommendation typically includes the implementation of COBRA Services, Disability Plans as an employee benefit while building continuity across the organization and avoiding risk for the employer, and securing the additional family protection necessary for your employees in case the “bread winner” is no longer available to provide an income.

Service Integrity - Our last Philosophy is “Service is Sales and Sales is Service." We will always continue to service your company and look out for the best interests of those who provide the service to your clients and customers on a regular basis.

Estate & Legacy Planning

A well-engineered estate conservation plan can minimize tax liability and ensure that loved ones are protected. John works with clients and their professional advisors to analyze their current financial status and assess the potential impact of state and federal taxes on a client’s estate. Using this baseline, John develops and suggests strategies that will meet planning goals.

Wealth & Asset Protection Services

We identify a variety of financial strategies and retirement income plans that can help clients accumulate assets for the future, such as business-related non-qualified deferred compensation plans, qualified retirement plans, and other instruments. John may also offer techniques to help shield your business and personal assets from liabilities or life events. In addition to death benefit protection, this can help safeguard asset transfer to children and grandchildren.

Charitable Giving

Charitable giving allows you to support the organizations and causes that matter to you, while providing immediate income streams and reducing your tax burden. Numerous charitable giving strategies exist, and we can help you design and execute a charitable giving plan that is in alignment with your personal and philanthropic goals.

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