February 28, 2022

Episode 43: Cliff Spolander, Exit and Business Strategist

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The Story

It strikes me that one of the most valuable conversations you can have with a business-owner client concerns the exit from their business. When are they going to close it or sell it? How much do they want for it? And how much personally do they want to extract from the business as a result of that? A highly valuable conversation, but one with which many accountants are not entirely comfortable.

Join me on this podcast discussion with Cliff Spolander of Business Optics.  Cliff is a serial entrepreneur, having started, bought, sold and, on occasion, just simply closed 12 different businesses, and who is now helping business owners with their exit planning.

You'll hear Cliff share his insights and the thoughts, processes, strategies and conversations that drove real value into the hearts and minds of his clients and to his businesses, and that you, your team, your firm can use to deliver value for your own clients.

Please join me at humanisethenumbers.online or go to your favourite podcast source – Spotify, Apple or whatever – and have a listen to what Cliff has to say about exit planning.

The Solution:

There are two things that are driving me nuts and you've alluded to one of them and that is, everyone has to exit their company. There's no choice, everyone will exit.

The question is how do you exit, and when do you exit? The first issue is that a lot of business owners are so involved in their companies that exiting is way down the line and, although they need to prepare for exit, they don't always want to.

So, it's really about educating them that exit planning is not about selling your business, particularly, although selling is one way to exit, and it doesn’t mean that just because you are exit-ready in 2, 3, 4, 5 years’ time, you have to exit at that point.

All it means is that you are ready to exit should you need to.


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Resources relating to this podcast:

Listen to Cliff and Paul talk exit planning. A subject that many accountants find hard to discuss with their clients, but one that all of their clients will have thought about at one point or another.

Many business owners are so busy running their businesses, that although they know they need to plan for exiting their business, they have done very little about planning the business for this exit.

Cliff talks about the role accountants can play in helping their business owner clients prepare an exit plan and the value that you, the accountant, can add to your client by helping them along this journey.

Clients firstly need to understand the purpose of their business and gain long term clarity and understanding on what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Understanding the purpose and the strategy of the business will help prepare the business for exit.

They also need to understand the value of having a trusted advisor by their side regularly, guiding, advising and checking that their business is going in the right direction to ensure that the right exit plan is achieved.

There are 2 Business Breakthrough editions that will help you work with your clients to prepare for the 'exit planning' conversation.

The first is Lead with Purpose, this Bitesize Business Breakthrough will show you the value in working out what a business stands for and the importance of a crystal clear sense of purpose. Once everyone in a business understands this purpose it brings clarity and alignment to business decisions and actions.

The second one is Client Value Counts, this Bitesize Business Breakthrough will show you that your success is determined by your ability to communicate your value to your clients.

Helping your clients prepare for exit planning will dramatically increase your value to your client, but it's important you demonstrate your value in the right way, in the conversations you have with your clients.

Click the links on the buttons to read these reports.

Saleability Test

At 36.40m Cliff and Paul talk about how to find out how saleable a business is.

Cliff has prepared a saleability test scorecard - a test business owners can take to see if their business is saleable.

It is a free test and the owner will be given a score, plus a 25 page report at the end.

Cliff has created this to help educate business owners and help you to start the conversation with your clients around exit planning.

The plugin is designed so that it is white labelled so that you, the accountant can use it on your own website.

12 Things To Consider Before Selling Your Business

Cliff has written an article which helps business owners find out what options are available for selling their business and what they need to consider for their business to be ready to attract the right offers.


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