Engaging a business adviser for your succession and exit strategy

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Should you engage a business adviser for your succession and exit strategy?


Should you engage a business adviser for your succession and exit strategy?

By , October 24, 2019
business adviser for exit and succession planning

Business owners, without a good quality business adviser, are steering the ship blind. Business today is complicated and the number of areas of expertise we need to be across (as owners), is simply impossible – there are far too many and things in business are far more complicated than they used to be.

“Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way.” – Ronald Reagan

Business owners need to understand what this actually means – engaging an adviser and then micro-managing is not going to work (most good advisers won’t put up with it anyway).

  • Find a business adviser who has the skills you need.
  • Ensure they understand the problem and the outcome you would like to achieve.
  • Make sure they are thinking strategically – long term planning.
  • Understand clearly the engagement model – retainer fees, success fee – outcome-based fees always get better results.
  • Give them information and the authority to do what needs to be done to solve the problem.
  • Leave them alone and let them do the job.
  • Constantly review, monitor and manage – results, not process.

A good adviser should make you (or save you) 3-4 times their cost – if they don’t – you have the wrong person. If I am going to charge you a $10,000 fee – I should be able to improve your business (outcome) by $40,000. A good return and a good outcome for the business. Cheap advisers will get cheap results in most cases – cheap results are not a good long-term strategy for your business.

“Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” – Warren Buffett

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.

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