Last week we asked our Advisor community, “What is the Most Effective Way to Educate a Business Owner on the Importance of Exit Planning and Value Growth?” Here are the results:
8% said Whitepapers sent via email
23% said Sharing a Podcast to Listen to
15% said Gift a Book on Exit and Value
54% said Roundtable Series with Owners
EPI Vice President, Scott Snider, provides a deeper look into this question:
To really understand this polling question, we need to understand the formula to triggering owner action in exit planning. To trigger it, we, as professional advisors, need a combination of intriguing and empowering behaviors or activities. We also reviewed the State of Owner Readiness Research (SOOR). A key factor that I think is overlooked in that report is that the business owners indicated their second most trusted advisor wasn’t even a traditional advisor at all, it was their owner/executive peer groups. Groups like Chief Executive Boards International, Vistage, and EO.
Now, let’s take these two things: The SOOR stat and the formula to trigger action and bring it life. In my opinion, there is no more effective way to educate and engage a business owner than through a roundtable series. A roundtable series is an owners group facilitated by expert advisors that focuses on value acceleration and aligning the 3 legs of the stool.
The Process of Educating an Owner on Exit Planning
The process starts with gifting a book. Perhaps directing the business owner to read the chapter in Walking to Destiny around the 4Cs – the four intangible capitals where 80% of a business’s value lies. It’s relatable to them, it intrigues them. Then invite them to the roundtable; this is where empowerment happens. Roundtables include short presentations, application through self mini-assessments, and deeper conversation amongst the fellow owners.
We began to deeply educate the owner on the process and opportunity while showing them where they are today and where their business could grow. First, we give them some “homework” to do between these monthly roundtable sessions. The homework can include listening to a specific podcast, reading a whitepaper, or taking an assessment to share with their spouse and team. Then, at the next roundtable, owners and advisor discuss while educating owners on the next step in the process. Education is key. Interaction and engagement through live instruction and discussion is the path to getting owners engaged in the process and bringing it into their companies and lives.