How Donald can help as an extraordinary conference speaker:



preparing your business and yourself for the most important financial event of your entire life!

(to download this document, click on the link at the bottom of the page)


Effectively and profitably exiting from one’s business is typically the most significant financial event in one’s life. But it’s often ignored, left till it’s too late, or executed badly.  Research shows that fewer than 10% of businesses have a written Succession Plan or Exit Strategy.  

It generally takes 4 to 6 years to create an effective exit strategy and prepare the business for a profitable and smooth transition.  You can’t just wake up one day and decide you don’t want to do it anymore.

There’s also real confusion about the difference between ‘Succession Planning’ and an ‘Exit Strategy’.  In Donald Cooper’s insightful work on this important subject…

  1. ‘Succession Planning’ is the ongoing process of preparing your talented people for career growth and promotion….and preparing the organization to operate without its current owner or leader.
  2. An ‘Exit Strategy’ is a plan focused on how the current owner or leader, will exit the business effectively, gracefully and profitably. Ideally, there should be two Exit Plans…an ‘Eventual Exit Plan’ and a ‘Catastrophic Exit Plan’.  The ‘Catastrophic Plan’ deals with how the business will carry on and how the ownership will be transitioned in the case of the sudden catastrophic loss of the owner or leader due to death or disability.

On a very human level, few business owners have prepared themselves for the huge change that exiting a business has on their life.

In this bottom-line presentation, Donald delivers key insights about:

  1. Your best exit strategy is to create a profitable and sustainable business.
  2. The organizational, personal, family and financial aspects of succession planning and exit strategies.
  3. The importance of building a ‘talent pipeline’ in your business.
  4. How to develop a ‘Wise Investor’ mentality in your business.
  5. Determining your exit priorities and timing.
  6. How saleable is your business…and what is it really worth? The 11 things buyers will pay for.
  7. Calculating the amount of money you need to retire ‘comfortably’. It’s more than you think.
  8. Five key questions to ask before selling to family members, partners or employees?
  9. Warning! Beware of ‘2-step’ payouts from 3rd party buyers.
  10. What will your legacy be?  Creating both ‘success’ and ‘significance’. 
  11. The importance of getting top-quality financial, estate planning and legal advice.  ‘Succession & Exit’ is tricky stuff.  Don’t go it alone.      

 What will your legacy be?  Creating both ‘success’ and ‘significance’.


About Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF:

Donald has helped 100s of clients around the world develop clarity about the future of their business…and their lives.   He doesn’t just talk about it; he has actually done it…and done it well!  He has been both a world-class  manufacturer and an award-winning retailer.

Donald started his business career at the age of 6, sweeping the floor in the family business for 5 cents a day.  Long days and low pay…excellent early training for an entrepreneur.

He earned an undergraduate business degree and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University, followed by 18 years at Cooper Canada, the family business.   From humble beginnings, Cooper Canada became the world’s leading maker of hockey equipment and a Canadian Brand icon.

As a growing family business, Cooper Canada bought competitors, went public, became unionized, became                   un-unionized, imported, exported to 20 countries, opened an offshore factory in Barbados, and grew to over 2,800 employees.  Donald has been in the trenches.

Following the decision to sell Cooper Canada for a combination of strategic and family reasons, Donald reinvented himself as a visionary fashion retailer.  He fundamentally redefined the customer experience, for which he received seven Awards of Excellence for service, marketing and business innovation, including being voted Canada’s outstanding Innovative Retailer of the Year.  

For the past 20 years he has worked with business owners and managers in over 40 industries throughout the world to improve clarity of purpose, compelling customer value and long-term profitability. 

For his unique ability to inform, challenge and inspire even the most cynical business audience, he has been inducted into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame and been awarded the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation…the highest international designation in professional speaking.

For more information about Donald and his work, including a number of short video clips and free Business Tools, go to


What clients and audiences say about Donald’s presentations:

  • Excellent strategies.  A terrific and informative speaker.
  • Straight-to-the-point insights on how to better manage our business and our lives.
  • Awesome insights; edgy, engaging humor; passion and humanity…the whole package.
  • An awesome reality-check for business owners and leaders.
  • I can honestly say that this was the most eye-opening, forward-thinking and helpful business event I’ve attended.  I really appreciate your honest, real and straight-forward approach to management, marketing and profitability.  
  • The best, bottom-line business session that has been offered by our Association in the 20 years.
  • Everybody at my table was madly writing down ideas and ‘to does’.
  • Great mix of humor and common sense on an important topic for us all.
  • I love Cooper’s quote, “We need to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.”  How true.


Donald Cooper 2-sheet, Succession & Exit




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Donald has been 'in the trenches'. He speaks clearly, honestly and with such integrity about how to be extraordinary in business that I immediately hired him to work with my team. Donald has given us the tools to create even more compelling value, a clear Vision for our future...and a process to make it happen.

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