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Behind the Scenes - Customize Your Planning Approach

Submitted by Lisa Fannin on Fri, 03/05/2021 - 8:00am

Robert (Robbie) Spivey, Co-founder of B&B Strategic Partners, LLC, has been in the financial services industry for the last 43 years. Robbie actually began his career as early as his senior year in college. He has been a general agent for a large mutual insurance company and one of the founders of one of the first financial planning groups in the country. Robbie’s career eventually evolved into primarily investments and qualified plans. He continues to grow in his areas of expertise with designations and expand his network of thought leaders in the industry that he works closely with daily.

BEI: Why did you decide to work with business owners to help them exit? 

Robbie: I started working with business owners early in my career because they were the potential clients with the most substantial needs. I've always loved working with entrepreneurs because they are always so positive (sometimes too much so) and hard working. They typically are also extremely grateful and appreciative of the work you do for them.

BEI: Tell us about an unexpected challenge you have encountered working with business owners. How did it impact you or your practice and how did you overcome the problem? 

Robbie: Since I have had the opportunity to work with large companies and small entrepreneurial companies, I have noticed a few drastic differences. The smaller entrepreneurs typically have no one to "answer" to and commonly have to wear many hats. This has taught me to alter the way I approach each plan depending on what type of organization I am working with.

The most difficult hurdle that I have had to overcome was learning that many owners don’t know what they don’t know. I also had to remind many of my clients that working harder doesn't always mean working smarter. I have seen many small business owners work themselves to death and, in the end, they don't build enough value in their business to ensure a smooth transition of ownership. Ensuring that I start the conversation with my clients on the topic of building value early in the process has significantly enhanced the outcomes of my Exit Plans.

I have also learned that it can take a lot of time to help business owners build the value they need in order to maintain the life they want post exit. This process often requires a lot of handholding and patience. Managing the team of other advisors has also been an unexpected challenge that I had to overcome. Communicating consistently and clearly among all parties involved has been the best way to overcome any hiccups in the planning process.

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BEI: How has your involvement with BEI impacted your practice?

Robbie: BEI’s tools and resources have brought my organization to a new level and helped me promote myself as an Exit Planning expert to my clients and prospects.  

The annual BEI National Conference has also given me a lot of new information and helped me build new relationships. I was extremely upset that BEI was unable to host a live event in 2020 but I am very excited to attend the 2021 live conference in August to meet with the BEI team as well as the many advisors in my network that attend every year.

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