Getting Along With Your Advisors

A huge perk of running your own business is getting to do it your way. This can make planning for a successful future challenging for some business owners because they need to be comfortable with giving up control of certain aspects. And if they don’t agree with their advisors—or if their advisors don’t agree among themselves—it can become problematic. 

Fortunately, there are ways to tackle this issue on your terms. 

Rosie’s Reluctance 

“Rosie’s Pie Fillings: Everything Else Belongs in the Trash.” 

For decades, Rosie’s brashness had brought her all-natural pie-filling company monumental success. She combined her pride in “doing it like Gramma did it” with a hard-nosed negotiation style that got her and her company the best deals and placements possible. 

Rosie was getting tired. She was fed up with regulations, taxes, and heavier oversight within the food industry: not because she cut corners but because she had done everything the right way for years and was “tired of being questioned by bureaucrats who never produced anything valuable once in their lives,” as she was fond of saying. 

Any time Rosie thought about retirement, she’d nearly have a nervous breakdown. But she knew she couldn’t keep running her business forever. In a stroke of luck, the only competitor she trusted and had ever had a friendly business relationship with had an offer for her: $50 million in cash for her business. 

Though tempted to simply say yes and move on with her life, the seasoned executive in her knew she needed to run the offer by her advisors. The problem was that she didn’t work well with her advisors. They moved too slowly and didn’t get her the deals she wanted. 

When she contacted her financial advisor, he put her in touch with an Exit Planning Advisor named Don. Rosie told Don that she wanted to do the deal quickly so she could stop thinking about it, stop having to deal with bureaucracy, and live out her retirement with as few regulatory invasions as possible. 

“So you already talked to your tax advisor about minimizing taxes in a deal then?” Don asked. 

“No,” Rosie snorted. “This’ll never get done if I get him involved.” 

“So you’re OK giving the government half or more of what you’re offered by this buyer?” Don asked. 

“Half?” Rosie bellowed. “You’re kidding me.” 

“Hard to say. The only way we’ll know is by talking to your tax advisor,” Don replied plainly.  

“Those advisors don’t get it,” Rosie said. 

“It’s their job to get it,” Don told her. “And it’s my job to make them get it.” 

Advisors Work for You 

When planning for a successful future, both inside and outside of your business, it’s important that you understand that your advisors work for you. 

It’s their responsibility to provide you with their expertise in the context of planning on your terms. But as a business owner with countless responsibilities, it can be difficult to manage all the advisors you’ll likely need. 

This is where an Exit Planning Advisor can help. 

An Exit Planning Advisor acts as the leader of your Advisor Team, giving your advisors the direction they need to help you execute and pursue your goals. This could allow you to focus on running your business successfully and, in Rosie’s case, minimize the time you spend in the weeds of successful planning. 

Leveraging an Exit Planning Advisor could also cut down on miscommunication. Rather than having to relay what you want to multiple advisors, you only have to relay your wants and needs to one person, who then guides each advisor to create plans and strategies to pursue your goals successfully. 

And an Exit Planning Advisor can even help you rebuild or realign your Advisor Team if necessary. In Rosie’s case, she believed her tax advisor worked too slowly. However, Don realized that Rosie wasn’t clarifying her needs with her tax advisor. He quickly realized that they would need to hire support in addition to her current tax advisor, which Don helped Rosie do. 

In the end, Rosie managed to reduce her interactions with her Advisor Team thanks to Don, which allowed her to continue running the business her way. With her Advisor Team working toward her goals in the background, Rosie managed to sell her business, minimize her taxes, and retire on her terms with assurance that the buyer she chose would continue to produce her pie fillings the way Gramma used to do. 

We strive to help business owners identify and prioritize their objectives with respect to their businesses, their employees, and their families. If you have questions on this topic, we can help with more information or a referral to another experienced professional.