August 20th, 2018

This is how business advisors help business owners

I met with a business valuer that provides business owners with valuations.  We discussed the ways that business advisors help business owners.  Based on this discussion and follow up from that discussion I wanted to share some ideas with you.

National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC)

Who are the typical advisors and decision makers when it comes to exit planning for business owners?  These are the owner, the owner’s trusted advisor, the CPA, the tax attorney, the planning attorney, the CLU (insurance) and the business valuer.  The owner’s trusted advisor may be one of the specialties.  They each have roles to play and the typical model has the owner and the owner’s trusted advisor heavily involved with each specialist separately.  The National Association of Estate Planning Councils offers a 9 hour on line course that suggests that these specialists be engaged to meet separately from the business owner and that they collectively come up with a plan that can share with the business owner and trusted advisor.  This can then be tweaked by the business owner and the trusted advisor.

 

The National Association of Estate Planning Councils offers a 9 hour on line course that suggests that these specialists be engaged to meet separately from the business owner and that they collectively come up with a plan that can then be shared and tweaked by the business owner and the trusted advisor.

 

The course offered by the NAEPC is entitled “Advanced Training in Collaboration: Our Newest Member Benefit.”  I took the nine-hour interactive training course and I think is very valuable.  I recommend it to anyone involved in estate planning. I also see a need to address those that are not on board with the client’s needs over those of the individual advisor. 

Business Valuer and Value Added

Most business valuers see their role to value a business using an appropriate standard as of a given date. That is what they do and they are good at it.  However, the industry is changing.  A firm planning to exit can take steps to add value and prepare for the process.  Any firm has room for improvement and a pro-active business valuation firm can take steps to offer services to enhance the value of the firm. 

 

Any firm has room for improvement and a pro-active business valuation firm can take steps to offer services to enhance the value of the firm. 

 

Not all business valuation firms are on board with this concept. It was my pleasure to be on the testing phase of a new software program called Core Value Software.  Participants were asked if they wanted to have their firm grow.  About 50% said no.  Imagine that.  They wanted to continue to do what they had been doing. They wanted to do valuations.  If the world is moving ahead and you are staying the same, by definition you are falling behind.  I think there is significant value to be added using this software or a similar approach/product to help business valuation firms provide real value to their clients.  If your business valuation firm is not active in this market you may want to consider this as a growth area. 

BEI is a firm that specializes in exit planning.  In this article BEI suggests that good advisors don’t work for or against business owners, but with business owners.  It is not what the advisor wants, but rather what is best for the business owner.  The purpose of the advisor is to drive the process.  I agree with this concept completely.

What Do Consultants Do?

If a consultant is not adding significant value to their clients, there is no need for the consultant.  If the consultant is not changing with the times, perhaps there is a need for a change in consultants.  With over $12 trillion going to change hands in the next 8 years or so as baby boomers exit from businesses, there are a lot of ways business advisors can help business owners through these transitions. The firms mentioned in this blog are good representatives in their areas of expertise.

 

The bottom line is that business advisors need to be using the most current techniques and technologies and have the interest of their clients first rather than their own interest.

 

Those reading this article need to complete their own due diligence with respect to advisors. The bottom line is that business advisors need to be using the most current techniques and technologies and have the interest of their clients first rather than their own interest. When they do, this is a secret sauce for success as happy clients make recommendations based on the outstanding work completed by their advisor. Consider the information provided here if you are a business owner, business valuer or exit planning advisor.

Contact me to speak to your group or consult with you. Check out my website, books and content. I am an international speaker. I speak on how to overcome conflict with collaboration by taking advantage of the collaboration effect TM enhancing relationships, resources and revenues. My service areas are related to helping clients resolve conflict : business to IRS, business to business and within businesses. I have written 11 books including The Servant Manager and Peaceful Resolutions. I may be contacted directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. [Michael Gregory, NSA, ASA, CVA; MBA]

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