As a trusted advisor, you enjoy special relationships with your clients – relationships based on the common desire to see your clients reach their business objectives with the fewest obstacles along the way. Often your services are sufficient to accomplish this. However, sometimes your clients face special circumstances that your capabilities do not address. That’s when you are relied upon to bring in the right experts to assist.
In those cases where your clients run family-owned or closely-held businesses, there are unique sets of circumstances that often require a particular set of tools and experience. That’s where Business Legacy Consulting comes in. Whether it’s exit planning, working through family issues that affect the business or operational challenges, we are here to help you help your clients. As a result, your clients achieve their objectives more effectively, and you are held in even higher regard as their trusted advisor.
The role of Business Legacy Consulting is simple: To work with business owners and you, their trusted advisor, to collaboratively solve problems. That’s it.
Here are a few case studies demonstrating how we partner with trusted professionals to help their clients. We can do the same for your clients!
- CASE: Estate Planning Attorney (EPA) had a business client - two brothers - who owned a business. They had a highly contentious relationship and could not resolve key management issues that negatively impacted succession planning and exit strategies. Called us in for consultation.
THE WORK: Held strategic work sessions with clients – first individually, then together. Defined roles and responsibilities. Created clarity around individual strengths and challenges. Identified communication challenges. Separated fact from fiction. Work has now begun, in conjunction with the EPA, on the drafting of an exit plan.
THE RESULTS: Estate Planning Attorney and client report an improved working relationship both inside and outside of the business. Additionally, the EPA reports that an exit plan has been drafted and multiple transition strategies are now under consideration by the client.
- CASE: Financial Advisor had a client whose 10+ year business had declining profitability for the last three years, among other problems. Client had not contributed to his SEP during this time, and was considering cancelling several insurance policies. Called us in to assess the situation.
THE WORK: Conducted an internal assessment of systems, policies, and processes. Also met with key individuals on staff. Determined several key policies and systems that were impeding sales and service and increasing costs. Also identified two key staf members in need of additional training at a minimum and termination at a maximum. Held a Leadership Retreat for owner and key management/leadership staff to address current challenges and plan for "righting the ship."
THE RESULTS: Identified 30% potential savings resulting from process improvements and streamlining operations. Turned company around by 1) identifying core problems; 2) supporting owner in taking action by setting goals, objectives and action plans; 3) facilitating Leadership Retreat, setting the stage for owner to motivate, educate, and develop plan for the future.
- CASE: CPA had a long-term client who was looking to cut back their involvement in their business. They had children and non-family key personnel in the business. They knew that they were going to eventually leave their business but did not know how to go about it. They also wanted to make sure that all of their key people were treated fairly. They thought that some of them might be able to take over the business but again did not know how to make that happen. CPA was comfortable addressing the financial implications of this discussion but recognized that she did not have the expertise to deal with the significant emotional issues that needed to be addressed.
Met with the owner and her husband together to familiarize them with the process that would be followed. Met with the owner and her husband separately to discuss what life would look like for them post exit. Identified joint issues and goals that needed to be addressed as part of the exit plan and developed an initial list of objectives for their transition. Worked with the CPA and the client to determine their readiness to move forward on a plan from a financial standpoint. Determined the amount of the gap between what they needed for assets to be able to exit the business and what they had. Developed strategies to increase the value of the business. Met with CPA and client to review the opions available for exit and determine which option the client wanted to accomplish.
In this case, it was an internal sale three years out. Reviewed and agreed on final list of goals for exit.
Met with the key family and non-family staff. Conducted assessments of their skills. Determined who was the best fit for the various management roles post exit. Developed training plan to make sure that the management team was ready to handle their responsibilities when the time came.
Worked with client and CPA to implement strategies to increase value of the business over the next few years. Working with the client, CPA, and the client’s other trusted advisors to implement the different parts of the exit plan.
THE RESULTS: Client and her husband are well on their way to the successful exit from her business and the next phase of their lives. Management team skills are improving so that they will be able to successfully run the business after the exit of the owner.
Which of your clients can benefit from our services and expertise? Do you want to improve your value to your clients? Contact Karen or Mark at Business Legacy Consulting or 508-639-9879 today for a free consultation.