Posts tagged with: mentor

How to Hire a Mentor Exit Strategist

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

Advisor Selection

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.

Qualifying Questions for Your Exit Strategist

How do you select an attorney? How do you select a CPA? How do you select an M&A Advisor or a banker?

For each member of your exit team you’re looking for experience, credibility, project management, confidentiality, communication, cooperation, a systematic process. That’s equally true for your exit strategist who will help you stay focused on your exit goals, explore your exit options and help you get out so you can move on to your reinvention (fka retirement).

For anyone who says they can do the exit planning piece for you, here are five core questions to make it clear to you what they will do for you.

  1. What is your specialty? What is your core business?
    Your current advisors probably do an excellent job of helping you build and grow the business, the objective when you hired them. Is their core business helping you exit or is it to fulfill some other core objectives for the company?
  2. How will you charge me for exit planning services pre and post transaction?
    If you engage your licensed expert (attorney, accountant, tax advisor, insurance broker, wealth advisor, business broker) to guide you through the exit process starting years before the transaction, how would they charge you for that new service? Would it be at the same rate as you currently pay them for their licensed expertise, or some other formula?
  3. How engaged will you be in my operational implementation and transition up to the transaction?
    You need to know if they will be telling you what to do or helping you complete those tasks to prepare the business for sale.
  4. Will you help me assess exit options and timing/tax/liquidity impact of each?
    The greater the lead-time, the more exit options you have. Will your advisor work with you 2-5 years in advance of your targeted exit to explore those options?
  5. What will you do to assist me in determining my reinvention plan and my goals and lifestyle beyond the business exit?
    You increase your likelihood of a successful and prosperous exit transaction when you have a clear reinvention plan spelled out of what’s next. Will your exit strategist assist you to explore opportunities and identify criteria, needs and goals that the business exit will allow you to achieve?

You need an exit strategist who is focused on you, your goals, your exit, your transition.

You want an exit strategist who has years of experience focused on exit planning and the strategic transition (not just the transaction).

Do your due diligence on every member of your exit team, starting with the quarterback – your exit strategist.

P.S.To avoid possible pitfalls that could potentially derail your exit transaction plans, get your team on board early. Please contact our office if you would like to discuss your objectives and timeline in confidence.

Hire a Mentor Exit Strategist

It’s a big step to decide that you will hire an exit strategist. When you decide you want an exit strategist on your team, you want to hire someone who will help maximize the value of your business and prepare your business for sale or succession. Here are ten fundamentals to qualifying your ideal exit strategist.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Work with an authority, someone who gives you ideas one-on-one to run your business more effectively. Work with an authority who also offers training programs you can provide to your entire team to increase company valuation.
  6. Work with an advisor who is a peer, who teaches you at your level. You want a mentor who understands your size business, your industry, your challenges, who recognizes and values your objectives.
  7. Decide if you want an expert in marketing/sales/service/HR/finances to solve a specific problem in one area; or if you want a mentor who will help you oversee the entire operation to institute and/or refine business fundamentals.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 an exit on your terms, on your timeline.
  10. 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?

Your exit advisor is central to your successful sale, scale or succession plan.These fundamental qualifications are essential.

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