Like we have highlighted in our last few blog posts, a successful Exit Plan involves more than just you and your client. Not only do most Exit Plans involve a team of advisors, but they also include other owners and their families. As an Exit Planning Advisor, your role is to manage this group and keep everyone on track and organized. By outlining your role in the project early on in your planning conversations, you will set the expectation that you are the quarterback of this advisor team.
Exit Planning involves a lot of components that can seem overwhelming at first glance. The good news is you do not need to be an expert in every step of the process. In fact, having a diverse team gives your client the best possible scenario to exit their business on their terms because they are getting recommendations from each advisor’s area of expertise. Use your connections to build a network of experts to bring in when necessary. Also keep in mind that there are tools you can use to make managing other advisors and the planning work easier and more efficient.
Working with Different Personalities
As a member of an Exit Planning team, you are working with different types of people, deadlines, personalities, schedules, etc. Not to mention sometimes the owner’s goals change, economic factors for the business may shift, or unexpected hardships impact the owner. It can be challenging to know how to manage such a large project with so many moving parts and people involved.
It is important to understand who exactly you will be working with and their leadership style to keep the project moving. Nothing is worse than having a project get derailed because of a miscommunication between the team members. Tools such as BEI’s EPIC™software can help in making sure all parties are updated on the progress based on the recommendations you’ve made to the client as a team.
Consolidate & Share Information
We also recommend that you consolidate and share information with all parties involved in a way that is convenient and easy for everyone to reference. Once you begin the planning process you will need to find a secure, collaborative place to store the answers to the fact-gathering questions you ask your client regarding their business, family, and plans after they exit. Then, based on the recommendations of the advisor team, when your client needs to hire an additional advisor for the team, you will have the information they need. By streamlining this process, you are giving the client and the rest of the advisor team a customized road map for the business exit while exponentially decreasing the frustration within the group.
With a collaborative process in place, the client knows they are making decisions based on the best advice possible before executing. You are saving everyone’s valuable time by having all relevant information in one place to access and reference as needed. In the end, the client gets the outcome they are looking for and working towards, and the advisor team has the satisfaction of providing tremendous value to their client.
Business owners are far more likely to move forward if they can see the end game and are given a proven process that is seamless and efficient. The advisors on the team are more likely to refer clients to one another and continue to look for opportunities to collaborate in the future.
- Set the standard early on that you are the coach of the entire team.
- Know what kind of people you will be working with. Some advisors or business owners resonate better with different leadership styles.
- Don’t make it a headache to find information and data on the business. This process takes time and there are commonly many people involved. The more available this information is to the entire team, the easier the plan can progress.