When a business is owner-dependent, with no family transition opportunity, it can be a challenge to find an exit. This case study shows the challenges many proprietor of owner-dependent businesses face. Although our client in this case study is a speciality manufacturer, the situation is not unique to his industry.

Three questions you may have:

  1. How to retire?

  2. What is the best way to transition the business?

  3. How to maximize the value of the business?

Case Study:

Our 65-year-old client has been operating a custom wood window and door manufacturing business for 30 years.  With 24 – 36 months to go, before the desired exit,  he needed a plan to exit strategically.  With a proprietary product line up of custom solutions, the business delivers best-in-class, innovative products direct to architects, homeowners & builders.

Read the whole case study here.


Three Key Challenges:

  1. An owner dependent business

  2. Production: With no two jobs the same, time tracking and efficiencies are hard to come by keeping profit margins low.

  3. Sales: With a stellar reputation behind him and a passion for dealing with clients, the owner handles sales direct to architects, homeowners and builders

The Solution:

The client’s secure data room in the Central Document Registry (CDR) was populated allowing for a holistic view of the business and personal affairs. Industry benchmarking and valuation report delivered valuable insight on current results as compared to like businesses in a comparable jurisdiction.

An evaluation of business drivers provided these windows of opportunity:

  1. Restructure corporate share structure to allow income sprinkling

  2. Add talent to the team to reduce owner dependency

  3. New software to track and measure productivity

End Result:

  • Taxes are minimized for the owner with the proper share structure in place and is set up for a tax-efficient sale.

  • Owner dependency has been reduced with the addition of high quality senior employees.

  • Profit margins are increasing because of software to improve productivity “Time in Motion” study and an “Ownership Thinking Program” was initiated.

  • Solid new product lines have been added to meet market demand and increase future revenue.

  • Owner currently has a firm goal post of 24 months to retirement and a new investment advisor to facilitate his cash flow.

Wood Manufacturing Case Study_Thumbnail.jpg


Custom Wood Manufacturing Business


1. Organize corporate and personal documents to enable a holistic view of the business.

2. Examine key business drivers and determine what’s working and what’s not.

3. Benchmark; know the current value of your business.

3. Develop a plan with KPIs to build value in your company.

4. Leverage expertise from Trusted Advisors to make building value easier: minimizing taxes, risk avoidance, corporate structure, finance and HR.

Interested in reading more Strategic Succession case studies?

1. From an Uncertain Future to Peace of Mind; A Family Manufacturing Business Case Study

2. Overcoming Pressure, Increasing Yield & Building Value; A Wholesale Food Distribution Case Study

Let's connect. Sign up for our (occasional) newsletter or connect on LinkedIn.