FAQ / by Kerri
Succession Strategist Role
Succession Strategy Planning is a new specialty gaining value and urgency serving family businesses and their owners. Owners like you and your advisors have many questions about having an succession strategist on your team to orchestrate and facilitate accelerated growth and maximum value to achieve your ideal succession transition.
With an succession strategist on their team, family business owners define where they are and where they want to go, and what they want for the family business as well as for their family; which leads to gathering a stronger team of advisors to collaborate on their behalf. Our collaborative approach to planning, implementing and completing a family succession, cultivates cooperation and coordination among advisors, to enhance and leverage advisors’ individual expertise serving the client’s best interest and ideal outcome.
Questions We Hear Often
Answers follow below.
- I have never heard of a company like This Way Out Group LLC. How do I determine if I will benefit from your services?
- Does This Way Out Group LLC replace any of our existing advisors?
- Does This Way Out Group LLC provide tax or legal advice? Does it provide valuation services? Does it sell insurance, sell investments, or manage investments?
- When should I start succession planning?
- When do I need a team of outside advisors?
- Who should be on my team?
- My attorney/CPA/Financial Advisor told me I don’t need an succession or transition strategist. He is my most trusted advisor. He can do everything for me, can’t he?
- What do I say to my most trusted advisor when I hire This Way Out Group LLC?
- How do I rank my advisors to know if they indeed can serve as my succession strategist?
- What do I need to ask any potential advisors about being my succession strategist?
- I don’t want any contention or confrontation among my advisors. How do I get them to collaborate, cooperate and coordinate their efforts?
- What should a succession/transition strategist do for me? What value do I gain?
Q: I have never heard of a company like This Way Out Group LLC. How do I determine if I will benefit from your services?
A: We offer a complimentary 30-minute conversation to discuss your situation, answer your questions and ask 7 brief questions. From there, we offer an initial 90-day low-risk engagement, Value Growth Succession Roadmap, to explore where you are now, where you want to go and the options and timeline to get there. This initial engagement delivers multiple assessments and a blueprint for your succession strategy, as well as an immediate action plan for the next 90 days. This program allows us both to evaluate the value we can deliver to you, your family business, your family, and your legacy.
Q: Does This Way Out Group LLC replace any of our existing advisors?
A: Absolutely not. Our efforts will enhance–not dilute–the value and results your existing advisory team members deliver to achieve your business and personal objectives. We do not compete with your licensed transaction advisors.
Q: Does This Way Out Group LLC provide tax or legal advice? Does it provide valuation services? Does it sell insurance, sell investments, or manage investments?
A: No. This Way Out Group LLC has no licenses to provide those services. Nor do we receive referral fees or compensation in any form from individuals or firms that offer such products or services.
Q: When should I start succession planning?
A: Now. It’s never too early or too late to start succession planning. Pro-active planning offers the most options and the longest lead time to position your family business to achieve your goals and dreams. Every family business needs a succession strategy. Ideally, you defined one when you started your business. Your succession strategy can be the strongest framework for every decision you make from the outset of your business to achieve your legacy and dynasty.
Q: When do I need an succession team?
A: You need to start building out your team of outside advisors 2-5 years before your intended transition date.
Q: Who should be on my succession transition team?
A: At the hub of your team, you want your CFO, tax accountant, business attorney, your wealth advisor, estate planning attorney and your succession strategist to orchestrate the process and coordinate the team. You want them on board and collaborating on your behalf ideally five years before you intend to pass the business to successors. Your transition team will grow over time, the closer you get to your target date. Who you invite to join that team will depend on you, your business, your family, your transition option and your objectives beyond the business.
Q: My attorney/ CPA/ Financial Advisor told me I don’t need an succession strategist. He is my most trusted advisor. He can do everything for me, can’t he?
A: Your advisors have trained you well. They have instilled in you the habit that you need to call them before you make any strategic decision. So when you want to change how you’ve been operating your business – to prepare the business for succession – you call them first. To them, your thoughts and ideas about your succession planning are coming out of left field. Since they see themselves as your only trusted advisor for life, they feel it’s their job to protect you from anyone, and any ideas that they did not present to you themselves. But when you know in your gut there’s a better way, it’s time to extend your reach, broaden your view and seek out new ideas and solutions that resonate for you.
The classic medical analogy applies: Do you want your general practitioner or a plastic surgeon to sew the stitches on your teenage daughter’s forehead? The same is true on the strategic side of your business particularly when you decide you want to start planning to pass it on and get out. You need an succession strategy specialist who will help design your plan, orchestrate your all-star team and ensure you achieve your transition to reinvention.
Q: What do I say to my most trusted advisor when I hire This Way Out Group LLC?
A: Share with them the advantages that benefit them. Your succession strategist will:
- Coordinate planning how and when you will transition the business and get out
- Make their job easier too
- Position your most trusted advisors to be more forthright with you about your plans
- Include them in an expanded dialog about your family business and beyond
- Invite them to include other essential advisors
- Engage them to collaborate on the best coordinated strategy to meet your succession criteria, preferred succession strategy, and what has to happen to execute that plan on all fronts.
Q: How do I rank my advisors to know if they indeed can serve as my exit strategist?
A: Here’s a graphic representation and a table you can use to rate your advisors on the specialty they each bring to your succession planning. Rank your advisors on a scale of 1-10 for their expertise in succession strategy planning or any other proficiency they excel at.
Level 1-4 Dabbling
Dabblers are amateurs. Never trust anything to amateurs. You already know more about your succession plan than the Dabblers do.
Level 5 Knowing
Knowledge is a good thing. Knowledge alone is incomplete, insufficient and inadequate to meet your needs to make the right decisions for you, your family business, your family and your reinvention. Knowing about succession planning means they value the planning process, but they don’t necessarily work in this field every day.
Level 6-8 Doing
Knowledge PLUS experience equals expertise. With specialized expertise and focus, advisors can deliver the competence to serve you in their field. At a minimum, you want advisors of this caliber in each discipline. That applies to the succession strategist on your team as well, someone who specializes in this field.
Level 9-10 Creative Visionary & Dynamic Execution
An advisor at this level brings their A-game in their specialty to bear on your company, your situation. A succession strategist at this level will orchestrate your succession plan and your team to complete your transaction and transition to reinvention. The art and science of your succession strategy plus your entire all-star team at this level combine to achieve your optimum outcome.
Q: What do I need to ask any potential advisors about being my succession strategist?
A: Ask anyone you want to consider as your succession strategist this set of qualifying questions.
- What is your specialty?
- What is your core business?
- How will you charge me for succession/transition planning services pre and post transaction?
- How engaged will you be in my operational implementation and transition up to the transaction?
- Will you help me assess succession and transition options and the timing/tax/liquidity impact of each? How?
- How will you help me build out my all-star team of advisors and orchestrate the preparation, process and the team of outside advisors? Now? Two years out? During the transaction?
- What will you do to assist me in determining my reinvention plan and my goals and lifestyle beyond the business? How long after the transaction will your mentorship extend?
Q: I don’t want any contention or confrontation among my advisors. How do I get them to collaborate, cooperate and coordinate their efforts?
A: We set expectations early that your successful transition requires a team effort, not a set of advisors stuck in their silos. We invite advisors who bring their best efforts to the team you are building, to leave ego and standard operating practices at the door, focus on their strengths, and consult frankly together to deliver an optimum solution tailored for you. We attract premier advisors who already espouse and value this new paradigm of collaboration, cooperation and coordinating efforts.
Q: What should a succession strategist do for me?
A: Simply, we get you to your end game. A succession strategist from This Way Out Group LLC will:
- Assist you to articulate and align personal, business, and financial goals in the business and beyond
- Identify and clarify key succession and transition planning issues, and propose situation-specific solutions
- Deliver holistic comprehensive succession planning services
- Mentor you the family business owner through all the succession strategy stages
- Facilitate team collaboration and cooperation to deliver an integrated strategy for the business and your reinvention
- Free you to create true wealth when you sell, scale or pass the business on to a successor
- Guide you through the concurrent processes of value enhancement and succession/transition planning
- Help you prepare your company for maximum value
- Vet your team of advisors with you and orchestrate that team for you
- Interface with both family and business advisors to integrate family and business plans
- Guide you through the stages preparing the business, the team and you, the family business owner, for your ideal succession transition.
- Stay beside you through all the stages of the operations transformation and the transition process
- Transform you into a strategic CEO leading your succession on your terms on your timeline
- Deliver on every item on your succession planning checklist
- Mentor you to maximize the value and harvest the wealth of your family business to secure your future
- Ensure your successful reinvention (venture, adventure, avocation, (formerly known as (fka) retirement))
Your succession strategist will focus solely on preparing you and your family business for your optimum succession transition, to ensure YOU harvest the wealth in your business and successfully transition to your ideal reinvention.