Championship Advisor Teams: A Super Bowl Strategy for Exit Planning

Explains the strategy for football and signifies the strategy needed in business exit planning.

It’s Super Bowl Weekend! As the San Francisco 49ers get ready to take on the reigning champs in the Kansas City Chiefs, business owners around the country are looking to exit their businesses, but might not have the right resources to reach all of their goals at the time of their exit.

For each team playing on Sunday, it’s taken grit, perseverance, and hard work to be able to perform on the biggest stage in sports. It’s no different for business owners, who dedicate their lives to something they believe in. Just as professional sports organizations carefully select each player when developing a championship-caliber team, assembling an advisor team for business Exit Planning is an essential process for generating exit success.

Every business owner’s exit strategy is as unique as the teams that compete for the Super Bowl, with specific financial goals, values, and timelines. Leaving a business carries countless implications that affect more than just the business owner: For instance, an owner looking to exit their business needs to consider whom he or she will transfer the business to; how taxes will affect the net sale price; how he or she can make sure that key employees don’t sabotage the sale; and how to distribute wealth from the sale among family, charity, investments, and self.

Just as no single player can win the game alone, successfully creating and executing an Exit Plan typically requires expertise from several advisors from different professional fields. That’s because no single advisor has sufficient expertise or experience to create and implement all of the activities required in a typical Exit Plan. In many cases and throughout our history as thought leaders across the Exit Planning industry, a collaborative effort from a network of seasoned professionals is essential for success. 

Across all sports, bench players have an important role in relieving starting players in special situations, such as when the bench player excels over the starter in a specific circumstance. That’s precisely what your Advisor Team does. While the Exit Planner often takes the lead for the overarching Exit Planning Process, the Exit Planner knows when to insert his or her bench players to maximize performance and output, giving the team’s owner (i.e., the business owner) the best chance to succeed. Let’s take a deeper dive into the Exit Planning end zone and how each professional plays an integral role in ensuring a successful exit.

The Game Plan

The Quarterback: The Exit Planning Advisor

In this strategic game, the Exit Planning Advisor acts as the quarterback, calling the plays and coordinating the team’s efforts towards achieving the business owner’s exit objectives. This role demands a comprehensive understanding of the owner’s goals and the ability to lead and integrate the efforts of various specialists.

The Offensive Line: Financial Strategists

This line-up includes Financial Planners, CPAs, Valuation Specialists, and Wealth Managers, each tasked with protecting and maximizing the owner’s financial interests. Like any football team’s offensive line, they work in unison to create a strong defense against financial vulnerabilities, ensuring the business’s value is optimized for exit.

The Defensive Team: Legal and Risk Advisors

Business and Estate Planning Attorneys, along with Insurance Advisors, form the defense, mitigating risks and ensuring the owner’s legacy is preserved through carefully crafted legal strategies and protective measures. Their expertise is crucial in navigating the complexities of business continuity and legal compliance.

Special Teams: The Niche Experts

Niche advisors, including Business Consultants and M&A Specialists, are the special teams, bringing unique skills for specific challenges. Their involvement can make the critical difference in preparing the business for a successful transfer or sale.

Building the Team

Identifying MVPs

When selecting advisors for your team, prioritize expertise, experience with owners, willingness to provide informal advice, and a deadline-driven approach. These qualities ensure that the team can effectively address the unique challenges and opportunities of Exit Planning. Having an advisor team full of MVPs is also a differentiation strategy for you and your services as owners want to work with advisors and advisor teams they can trust to help them achieve their goals! 

The Strategic Playbook

For a deeper dive into building engagement and advisor teams, check out our blog on  Building Engagement & Advisor Teams One Step at a Time. This resource provides valuable lessons on forming a cohesive team that can navigate the complexities of Exit Planning together.

Execution for the Win

Remember, it’s never too early to plan for a business exit! Starting the team-building process early is key to aligning strategies and ensuring that each advisor’s role is clear. Check out this article From Entrepreneur answering the question, When Should Business Owners Start Developing an Exit Plan? This approach not only streamlines the Exit Planning process but also opens new opportunities for client engagement and sets your practice apart in a crowded field.

As we inch closer to kickoff, remember that like a championship team, a well-coordinated group of advisors is essential for navigating a business owner through a successful exit. With the right team in place, business owners can achieve their exit goals, ensuring a legacy that endures beyond their tenure. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more insights and updates!

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