For over 25 years, BEI has been dedicated to providing innovative and intuitive tools for business advisors to help them differentiate their practice and provide better solutions to their clients. Following suit, we typically address business advisors in our content, aiming to provide support and resources for them to start conversations with owners. However, this time, we are dedicating an article to all of the business owners on behalf of Exit Planning Advisors everywhere.
As we talk to hundreds of Exit Planning Advisors each week, we want to share some common sentiments that we hear. Our goal is to assure business owners who might be on the fence about Exit Planning or teaming up with an advisor that you are always top-of-mind to them.
Alternatively, this may also be helpful if you are an Exit Planning Advisor who is struggling to connect with clients or get your planning services off the ground. Or, maybe you have been doing this work for so long that this “letter” serves as a humble reminder of why you got started and the gratitude you feel when helping your clients reach their goals.
Dear business owner:
We know you’ve got a lot on your plate.
Managing the day-to-day operations of your business is no small feat. It is no surprise that at the end of each hard day, it’s unlikely that you’ve checked a task related to Exit Planning off of your to-do list. We’d be willing to bet that Exit Planning ranks among the tasks that you plan to get to “later.”
We can assure you that we don’t want to give you any more work to do. In working with us to create a comprehensive Exit Plan for your business, we intend to take the quarterback role. Meaning, in every Exit Planning engagement, we are prepared to manage the processes, advisor relationships, documentation, and more so that you don’t have to worry about it.
In this business landscape, it is not enough to simply have a buy-sell agreement stashed away in your files, and it may cost you more in the long run by delaying Exit Planning any further. We resolve to assist you in building a team of advisors that will collectively map out and execute an Exit Plan that will help you make the most of your lives’ work.
The Exit Planning Process revolves around you.
No matter your business, industry, size, or specialty, choosing what goals are most important to you is a crucial first step in Exit Planning. Whether these goals include reaching a target business valuation, ensuring financial security post-exit, developing a strong management team, retaining key employees, or something different, we vow to work with you to decide which goals are of utmost priority. These goals, plus the steps and resources needed to reach them, are what dictate every aspect of an Exit Plan.
Exit Planning Advisors who are familiar with the BEI Seven Step Exit Planning Process begin with this goals assessment, and continue on to determine the asset gap and what strategies need to be implemented to improve business value along the way.
In addition, it is likely we will work together to come up with a phase-based approach - in which we can select the most important problems that are keeping you up at night - and tackle those first. This way, we can build momentum as we remove some of those headaches from the list in the first phase, making it more manageable to move through each stage.
Your priorities matter to us.
As mentioned previously, your goals and priorities matter to your Exit Plan, but they also matter to us personally. When we work with you to establish your values-based goals, we see our role shift from “advisor to the business” to include “advisor to the owner.” Since our relationship is with you, we hope that it will endure long after your business exit is complete.
We are invested in your “next great adventure” too. Once the business transition event occurs, we anticipate advisory involvement in terms of making sure your expectations are exceeded and your post-exit lifestyle is going according to plan.
We understand the magnitude of a business exit.
For most business owners, the sale or transition of their business is the biggest financial decision of their life. Due to the weight of these decisions, we may play “devil’s advocate” and ask the tough questions. We want to be able to look at aspects of your business from a different perspective. After all, your relationships with vendors, banks, family, employees, etc. are impacted significantly when you are no longer involved in the business.
We have also seen firsthand the consequences of not planning. We could share examples and tangible results of clients whose business suffered due to enduring an unexpected life event or an inaccurate business valuation that could have fared better results with Exit Planning. We don’t want to see any of our clients end up in situations that don’t directly align with their Exit Planning objectives.
We know you value progress.
Exit Planning Advisors, especially those who use BEI’s EPIC Planning software, place high value in the monitoring process. Providing you with checklists and reports to track the movement of the Exit Plan is just as important to us as we know it is to you.
We are trained to be able to articulate what things you will need to complete, how the action items consider your biggest concerns, and communicate who is going to implement which recommendations and when.
Just like you have dedicated your life to your business, we have spent countless hours growing in our expertise to assist you with this business transition.
Let us help you find a better way to plan.
Exit Planning Advisors
Whether you intend to leave your business soon or stay involved forever, you need a plan for your future. The best way to create a successful plan is to work with a BEI-trained Exit Planning Advisor. BEI has the largest, international network of Exit Planning Advisors who are ready to answer your questions and help you find your path to a successful future.