Staying current with planning trends is essential to success, for both business owners and their advisors. While certain big-picture trends typically stay the same (e.g., business owners want to grow business value), the how behind the trends can change rapidly. For example, just five years ago, a common planning trend to help business owners save tax money was to convert a C corporation to an S corporation. With 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), that trend may not be as applicable as it once was.
Where can you go to stay up to date with the latest planning trends? This article will give you a few ideas.
Summits and conferences
Business owner gatherings, both large and small, are great places to stay up to date on planning trends. Many conferences will focus on a specific aspect of planning trends, giving business owners a chance to share their experiences and learn from one another. There are countless conferences that occur yearly, and many of these conferences offer owners and advisors an inside look into the most current planning trends.
BEI consistently hosts workshops for advisors who want to focus on working with business owners to plan for a successful future. At our Boot Camp for Advisors, we introduce advisors to the most current planning trends relevant to a business owner’s eventual exit from their business. Boot Camp also gives advisors a multidisciplinary cohort to share ideas and experiences with, along with the opportunity to build a referral network.
It’s becoming increasingly common for business owners and advisors to join online groups to stay current on planning trends. It’s a convenient, often non-technical way to spitball ideas and see what others like them are doing. As owners begin to skew younger, it’s important for owners and advisors to understand the value of the many online groups they can join to share ideas.
BEI has established three online groups that help advisors stay current on the most pressing planning trends for business owners. As the leader Exit Planning, we provide advisors who want a general overview of business owner planning best practices with a group where they can access overarching planning articles and ideas. For advisors looking to educate themselves on planning best practices, this online group is a great place to start.
We also host an online group where experts in planning for business owners can talk and share their ideas. Networking with other advisors is crucial to planning success, and this forum provides that network. It also gives advisors a chance to share their expertise, any articles they find useful in their planning, and work through challenges as a community.
Finally, BEI has introduced Associate Membership, which is both an online group and a formal training and education course. Associate Members can access exclusive content that provides the most up-to-date planning best practices for advisors to business owners. Associate Membership also allows advisors to access The BEI Network of Exit Planning Professionals, which can expand their referral network and keep them plugged in to the most current trends in planning.
Hosting your own gathering
Fortune favors the bold. One of the best ways to stay current with planning trends is to get in front of advisors and business owners directly. There are two ways to do this.
The first is to set up informal sessions to discuss topics of interest related to planning. For advisors, this would mean contacting other non-competitor advisors to set up time to discuss what they’re seeing in the planning space. These meetings can take place weekly, monthly, or quarterly, as long as they occur regularly enough to remain current.
The second is to host formal events for business owners to attend. In these situations, advisors must have a value proposition to attract owners to the event in the first place. BEI has tools and resources to help advisors establish this value proposition in line with their expertise. During the event, advisors can then get a sense for what business owners are actually doing and thinking regarding their planning.
Knowing what business owners are doing and thinking about their planning is essential to staying up to date with current planning trends. It may be that the business owners who attend the event aren’t doing enough planning for their future, which—according to a recent survey—is a consistent trend among business owners. This knowledge, in conjunction with the abovementioned methods of staying up to date, can be a huge differentiator.
- Staying up to date on planning trends is essential and easier than ever if you know where to look.
- Three useful ways to stay up to date are to attend conferences, join online groups, and start your own gathering, depending on your needs and personality.
- BEI helps advisors by hosting conferences and online groups, and providing tools and resources to help advisors set up their own gatherings.