How to Hire a Mentor Exit Strategist / by Kerri
It’s a big step to consider hiring an exit strategist. When you decide you want an exit strategist on your team, hire someone who will help reduce risks, maximize the value of your business, and prepare you and your business for sale or succession. Here are ten fundamentals to qualifying your ideal exit strategist.
Qualify Your Ideal Exit Strategist
- Hire someone who has done what you set out to do (e.g., launch a new product line, bring in $10M new revenue, streamline production to eliminate all late and lost jobs) to maximize the value of your business.
- Work with an advisor who has built businesses, has taken leadership, ownership, and accountability to get things done; hired the team and has risked everything themselves.
- Work with an advisor who teaches you more than one way to get things done, so you can customize the learning to you, your team and your company as you prepare for a transition/transaction.
- Work with a mentor who will sit with you to collaborate, rather than a consultant who keeps himself or herself apart. You need someone so engaged in your company and committed to your goals they are always thinking of better solutions for you, a virtual partner at your side.
- Work with an authority, someone who delivers specific ideas and solutions to run your business more effectively not just ‘If you fix this, your valuation will be higher’. Work with an authority who also offers training programs engaging your entire team to increase company valuation.
- Work with an advisor who is a peer, who has been in your shoes, and who teaches you at your level. You want a mentor who understands your size business, your industry, your challenges, who recognizes and values both your short-term and long-term objectives.
- Decide if you need a specialist in marketing/sales/service/HR/finances to solve a specific problem in one area; or if you want a mentor who will help you assess the entire operation to institute and/or refine business fundamentals to add value and leverage before you get to a transaction.
- Decide if you want to give away your core value to an outsider to get a task done; or if you want guidance and direction from a virtual partner who will help you integrate systems and strategies to take your whole company to the next level so you can achieve the financial success you know is possible.
- Decide if you want to hire a trainer to get you started in a specific skill set; or if you want to hire a mentor who will stick with you to achieve very specific results, in this case preparing for an exit on your terms, on your timeline.
- Do you need information that a one-time consultant will produce? Or do you need the ongoing insight, experience and expertise of an exit authority to turn information into knowledge you can integrate into your business, adding value every day?
The advisors you choose to surround you, in preparation and through the transaction process, directly impact the outcome you achieve. Know why each person is on your team, the value they add, and what they deliver. Hire the best you can find, not just the best ‘you can afford’.
Hiring the team you need to cash out on your terms is an investment that offers you a high return while reducing your risk to get there.
Use your exit strategist as a resource working with your advisors, integrating them effectively into your team, as the conductor of your orchestra (advisors) performing your symphony (exit plan).
Your exit strategist is central to ensure the success of you and your team of experts in any sale, scale or succession plan. Use these 10 fundamental qualifications to help you identify your ideal exit strategist.