Today’s blog highlights BEI Member, Ben Isakov. Ben has over 20 years of experience in Quality Assurance, Continued Improvement, and Operations Management in the private sector, corporate, and government organizations. Having a mechanical engineering degree, he considers his super-power the ability to look at complex systems and business functions to identify deficiencies, broken links, and communication barriers between the processes. Making these visible to the business owner is crucial to helping them build a new, better state, which directly affects the bottom-line profits and scalability of the business. Ben prides himself on his keen ability to help his clients significantly increase the value of their business during the planning process. He considers this to be a unique skill set and has insights to share that can assist other advisors in helping their clients.
We asked him a few questions about his involvement with BEI and the Exit Planning industry:
BEI: Why did you decide to work with business owners?
Ben: I had a few reasons to start working with business owners. First, I always liked to work with people, and I feel accomplished and satisfied when I see the positive impact I can bring to their business. Second, I saw how much they were missing out. As a business grows, the business owner should grow with it, applying new ways of managing and running it, adding support systems, etc. However, many business owners are so focused on the core competency of the business that they don’t have the time, energy, or the knowledge to do it. As a result, they are far from being as profitable as they could be.
This is where I come into the picture as an Exit Planning Advisor with the tools, strategies, and systems to improve profits and build business value. But most importantly, I come in with an unbiased and rational outside perspective, to help them see and fix the issues that arise in their blind spots.
BEI: Tell us about an unexpected challenge you have encountered with business owners and what you learned from this challenge.
Ben: An unexpected challenge that I have faced is realizing that there are some business owners that don’t want to grow.
The first time I came across this it took me off guard. At first, I was surprised, but when I started to dig into the reasons that growth might not be a priority, I gained more perspective. For some business owners, they were working extremely hard for the current level of business, and for them, more business would translate into linearly extrapolated challenges.
It took some time for me to convince the owner that this logic is one of the obstacles to overall business growth. The real challenge was to change the owner’s misconception that many business owners have that growth will lead to more challenges, when in fact that is not always the case.
Since this first time, one of the first things I ask a business owner is how they envision the business (and their role in it) when it is double or triple the size.
BEI: How has your involvement with BEI impacted your practice? What tools, educational materials, support have helped the most, and in what ways?
Ben: BEI gives a perfect Exit Planning framework to follow. The initial assessments are helpful tools to use when prospecting, and it also gives a solid starting point for the planning work.
The most invaluable BEI tools for me are the whitepapers and case studies. They have been my go-to resources within my practice when working with clients and other advisors alike.
The ability to stay active and up-to-date with happenings in the Exit Planning industry is crucial to being able to answer questions from business owners regarding their biggest challenges. My experience has prompted me to create a 5-step formula for business owners to double their profits.
This formula has helped many business owners create massive, exponential growth for their business based on five critical areas that must be addressed to gain more clients, generate more revenue, and increase profitability:
Number of transactions
Average sale value
You can learn more about this formula and how I’ve used it to help business owners on my website, along with other blog posts and articles on Exit Planning topics.
BEI: What advice would you give another advisor early in their career?
Ben: Be persistent with prospecting! Many business owners need our help, but they are often not yet aware of it. It is up to us as advisors with Exit Planning knowledge to get the conversations started, point out gaps in their business and show them the untapped financial potential that can be added to their business before their exit.
BEI: How can our readers get in contact with you or learn more about your services?
Ben: I constantly engage with my audience via my social media accounts, webinars, and seminars. The best way to see my upcoming events and content is connecting with me on LinkedIn.
Website: Congruent Clarity
Social media: LinkedIn
As a preview of the types of content shared on LinkedIn, check out this article!
Ben notes the importance of an advisor in changing client’s mindsets and helping them map out their goals. To learn more about the role of the advisor, check out our latest free resource at the link below: