Exit Planners Wear Many Hats

Fri, 11/05/2021 - 08:00


The construction of a building, and the creation of a successful business Exit Plan, require three different roles: an architect, a general contractor, and a subcontractor. This ensures that the building has a solid foundation, is designed and built with a purpose in mind, and that all the steps to construct the building are completed on time.  

Architects create construction blueprints when working with property owners. Similarly, when working with business owners, Exit Planners design business Exit Plans. They take in factors such as when they want to exit, their resources today and where they need to be when that transition occurs, and their desired exit path.  

General contractors are responsible for the timely execution of the construction blueprints. They set schedules, coordinate with subcontractors, manage client expectations, deal with emergencies, and manage unanticipated events. Likewise, BEI Exit Planners have the training and tools necessary to set deadlines, coordinate with multiple advisors on the advisor team, manage client expectations, deal with emergencies, and manage unanticipated events. 

Subcontractors use their skills, tools, and resources to perform specific tasks in the construction of a building. Exit Planners rely on other professionals such as financial advisors, CPAs, and attorneys to help them plan and execute specific actions as part of an Exit Plan. Exit Planning Advisors also serve as “subcontractors” in the sense that if the Exit Planning Advisor is a CPA, for example, he or she uses skills and tools to plan and execute the tax aspects of an Exit Plan. 

 What role do you want to play in the Exit Planning Process? 

We know that BEI Exit Planning Advisors use their tools and training to act as architects, general contractors, and subcontractors in the Exit Planning engagements they undertake. The world of Exit Planning differs, however, from the construction world in one critical aspect: There are thousands of architects and general contractors and millions of subcontractors engaged in building construction. Contrast that to the scarcity of Exit Planning Advisors who alone possess the tools and training needed to design, supervise, and execute Exit Plans. And the one thing that all business owners have in common is that one day they will need to exit their business, either by death or by choice. They need an Exit Planning Advisor to help them plan for that event. 

As a successful attorney, CPA, financial advisor, transaction advisor or other advisor who works with business owners, you are the type of subcontractor BEI Members value on their Advisor Teams. If you are reading this post, however, we suspect that you want to be more for your business owner clients. If you’d like to be more than one of the subcontractors, if you would like to assume the role of architect and general contractor in the design and construction of your clients’ Exit Plans, BEI offers the training and tools you need to do so. 


  • The design and successful implementation of business Exit Plans requires someone to design them, oversee their execution, and perform specific tasks. 
  • Advisors can choose which of the three roles they want to take on. 
  • BEI-trained Exit Planning Advisors have the education, skills, and tools necessary to play the role of architect, general contractor, and subtractor in the Exit Plans they create. 
  • An expert Exit Planner is a practice differentiator and a value-add for the owners you represent—and want to represent. 

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