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Choosing an Exit Option and a Halloween Movie
by Colleen Kowalski on October 22, 2020
When selecting a Halloween movie for the perfect fall night at home, there are a lot of factors to consider. Are you a classic horror movie fan? Do you prefer a campy family film? Or maybe you will watch anything and everything that even remotely feels Halloween related. Choosing a Halloween movie is like choosing a way to exit your business. There are numerous paths you can take when exiting your business, and plenty of Halloween movies to watch while you select the path that is right for you.
Intergenerational Transfer – The Addams Family
If your family is creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, and altogether ooky: I would not recommend transferring your business within the family… unless you are an Addams. The Addams Family represents the epitome of keeping business within the family. Every Addams, from Gomez to Wednesday, is heavily invested in the family ideals and their particular brand of morbid humor. Gomez and Morticia Addams have generational wealth and property that will be passed down to their children, Wednesday and Pugsley. However, when Gomez’s long-lost brother, Fester, returns, he regains his stake in the family business and his fair share of the Addams Family vault. While the transfer changed slightly, The Addams Family value continues to remain in the family.
The same principles apply to an intergenerational business transfer. The pros to this arrangement are keeping everything in the family and transitioning the wealth at a lower cost. During a family transition, you can plan for the transition earlier and have more control over your family’s succession than you would if your money and property are sold to a third party. However, when transferring a business to an heir, you typically get a lower sale price and must manage family dynamics that might hinder a sale. While this may be the path of least resistance, it does not necessarily always lead to growth or success.
Recapitalization – Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus is the quintessential Halloween movie. It has everything: Bette Midler singing the best rendition of “I Put a Spell on You”, Sarah Jessica Parker running amuck, and Kathy Najimy’s flawless vacuum flying skills, just to name a few. The Sanderson Sisters know some pretty creative ways to recapitalize their personal value, even if it includes using an ancient spell book and feeding off the lives of children. Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson use the life force of children to remain young and beautiful. While it may be an unwilling partnership on the children’s part, seeing as they must die for the sisters’ spell to work, it is no less effective for the witches. The Sanderson Sisters can recapitalize on their youth and remain alive with the assistance of children who act as lenders.
In a real-world business, recapitalization does not involve using the lives of children to grow and survive. It is actually a low risk option to provide growth capital and diversify assets. Recapitalization brings in a lender or equity investor to act as a partner in the business. This allows you as the business owner to partially exit but still have a stake in the business. This path works well with other exit options. However, this process can be slower than other exit options and does not allow for a clean break from the business, if that is the route you would like to take. You must continually hold your new partners accountable to ensure you do not lose control of your assets.
Sell to Third Party – The Haunted Mansion
A family friendly Halloween classic, The Haunted Mansion, originally based off the Disney World ride, highlights the perils of selling to a third party, especially if the asset you are selling is haunted. In The Haunted Mansion, Jim Evers, is a real estate agent tasked with selling the Gracey Mansion. He takes his family to the property to prepare it for sale when they find out the property is haunted by the former owner and his staff. Discovering that the house he was trying to sell is haunted puts a damper on Jim’s excitement since he knows it will be much harder to sell while it is inhabited by ghosts.
Theoretically, your business is not haunted. If it is, I apologize in advance for how hard it will be to sell to a third party, unless that third party is The Ghostbusters. Selling to a third party is one of the most cost-effective methods of exiting your business. As a business owner you will be able to walk away faster after the deal and with more cash up front. The sale can occur via a negotiated sale, controlled auction, or unsolicited offer. However, this process is more emotional as an owner because you are selling 100% of your business. This emotional attachment could cause you to be distracted in the process. Selling to a strategic buyer, financial buyer, or private equity group is also a long process that can take between 9-12 months and involves roughly 1,000 professional hours.
There are plenty of great Halloween movies to watch this fall and plenty of ways to exit your business. Read about seven different Exit Options in Walking to Destiny in between your movie marathon this Halloween!
Here are some of our team’s favorite Halloween Movies to add to your list:
Scott Snider: My favorite Halloween movie is Ghostbusters. It’s a classic!
Jocelyn Bires: My favorite Halloween movie has always been Hocus Pocus! While I am not a fan of Halloween really (I don’t do well with scary movies or haunted houses), I like that this isn’t a scary movie but a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family and still get you in the fall/Halloween mood!
William Detki: Some of my favorite Halloween movies would have to be The Strangers and You’re Next. Both leave you in suspense!
Alex Hooker: My favorite Halloween movies are definitely the Halloweentown movies. I remember watching them when I was a kid and always wanted to be a witch. Marnie is the coolest and I wanted Aggie to be my grandmother.
Jesse Hudson: My favorite Halloween movie is Ghostbusters. It was cool when I was a kid, and now as an adult, I think it is a pretty funny movie!
Max Humphrey: My favorite movie to watch around Halloween is Alien. I grew up watching it and I love the set design and monster design.
Joe Klauer: My favorite Halloween movie is Beetlejuice. It was one of my favorite movies growing up and I always used to say “Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice” hoping he would appear!
Paige Koerper: My favorite Halloween movie is definitely The Addams Family. I like it so much because I am obsessed with their house and would love to tour it. I also love that they are a family of misfits that are completely unbothered by the rest of society and do not care to conform. Lastly, I love how detailed each unique character is. From all of the hair on Cousin It to Thing, every detail is so unique.
Colleen Kowalski: I love Hocus Pocus! You can’t go wrong with this classic. Every line is quotable and I feel no shame in watching this movie in the middle of winter. I even dressed up as the Sarah Sanderson to my friends’ Winifred and Mary for Halloween a few years ago.
Josh Koza: My favorite Halloween movie is Ghostbusters. We didn’t celebrate Halloween as children, so traditional Halloween movies have never been of a keen interest to me. I am also not a fan of scary movies – eliminating many traditional flicks from contention for me. However, a peer from high school had a frightening obsession with Ghostbusters (he even created a functional Ghostbuster’s costumer from scratch) and, as a result, I took the time to watch the film. I’ve always enjoyed Bill Murray as an actor and this was no exception!
Scott Lang: I would say my favorite movie is the original Nightmare on Elm Street. I remember always watching it every year with my cousins.
Joshua Lewis: Halloween (1978) is my favorite scary movie. It’s such a classic! It was released 42 years ago, and it is still fun to watch. Plus, it has the creepiest theme music ever.
Chase Ross: My favorite Halloween movies are Ghostbusters and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I always watched them growing up, they were my dad’s favorites as well, and it has become a tradition to watch them every Halloween.
John Weishar: I would say The Shining and Beetlejuice are a good way to hit both sides of spectrum in terms of Halloween type movies. From The Shining, obviously “Here’s Johnny” is an all time classic line I use. I am a huge Harry Belafonte fan, he’s the guy that sings the songs in Beetlejuice, Day-O and Jump in the Line, so I rock out to those all the time.