Succession planning was a popular topic at the recent annual FPA conference in mid-September. More than a half dozen sessions were led by various experts in the industry. I had the opportunity to speak with attendees at several sessions in San Diego on both business continuity and succession planning. These speaking engagements follow a presentation I gave in August at a Tampa Bay FPA chapter meeting. Interest is clearly high among advisors looking to plan for retirement as well as advisors focused on building their business. Yet, all seem to fall quickly into quiet reflection when it comes to having a well thought out, documented emergency plan in place.
While planning for clients is natural for those of us who’ve spent our careers advising clients on defining goals – taking time to develop emergency and longer-term plans for our own businesses and families seems to be uncomfortable or just too low on the priority scale. This brings to mind the well known proverb, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.”
We at Cambridge recognize the challenge for you and have developed a solution to make it easier and less time-consuming for you to get started. You may have heard about Cambridge Continuity Express, but if not, any member of our Practice Management Team can walk you through how we can help make this important step an easier one for you to take. We can also let you know more about Cambridge SWAT – our new Special Wealth Advisory Team that we’ve formed as part of the Continuity Express effort that is intended to offer on-site support to an advisor’s clients if an emergency would arise that challenges business continuity. The biggest hurdle for most advisors is where or how to start the process. With Continuity Express, we support you throughout the entire cycle of your business, helping you realize value for a lifetimes worth of work.
We encourage you to immediately institute an emergency business continuity plan. This will offer you a measure of protection while you develop your long term strategy.
Next, we recommend six simple steps creating and implementing a longer term succession plan:
- Define your plan
- Value your business
- Identify your ideal successor
- Structure the transaction
- Define the transition
- Implement the plan
Of course each of these steps requires careful thought and decision making. Please know we are here to offer our support – in the form of guidance and information, as a sounding board, or through a more complete continuity and succession solution backed and funded by Cambridge. Have you created your succession plan? Questions? Contact me directly at email@example.com.