This month marked 11 and a half years of hosting the Henchards business lunch. No big deal in terms of landmark ‘anniversaries’ but nonetheless a notable event. The reason – yet another reinforcement of the power of association.
Henchards has never been a business with a ‘do it all ourselves’ approach to advising and helping our clients, rather we take the view that in the right circumstances others may add more than we can ourselves. Our role is primarily to navigate and support our clients to a successful business exit, and it’s not uncommon to enlist the support of others in our business network.
Exit planning is a broad activity and necessarily multi-disciplinary. We may work with our clients on defining the outcome they want to achieve and in developing the business strategy and succession planning then thereafter supporting, mentoring and coaching the owners and managers to deliver on their commitments, but there are plenty of elements where we look to others to help.
An exit plan starts with the owner or owners understanding what they want to achieve by the time they step back from leading and owning their business. Not surprisingly a big part of that initial phase involves personal wealth planning – after all if you are looking to sell your business to support you and your family for the rest of your life you want to ‘know your numbers’. We understand what needs to be done, but we are not IFAs or wealth planners – but we know people who are.
In developing the company’s business strategy to meet the number the owner(s) want involves financial forecasting and planning. Again we know what is needed and can specify the task but the work is often best done by a financial director or management accountant. Again, we know great people.
When it comes to the specific plans for marketing, team development, process improvement, operations etc we have the network of technically and professionally fantastic people. And so it goes. Our clients know we know great people and they trust us to introduce the right people at the right time. Furthermore they are reassured that the scope of work is appropriate and the review processes robust.
This article started by mentioning the Henchards business lunch. One of the primary benefits for our guests is to meet people across many disciplines any of whom may be a valuable contributor to one of our clients. The lunch provides an enjoyable, relaxed environment for us to get to know each other and find out a bit more about the person behind the business they run. This is important for our own purposes of only introducing to clients people who can do the job but as importantly we want to know that the chemistry will work between, say, a virtual HR manager and a specific business owner we are helping – exiting will be one of the biggest events in their business life, we want to get it right for them.
Our lunches are open events but by invitation. There is no exclusivity (we might have three virtual FDs at a lunch for example – a flamboyance of VFDs perhaps!), the lunches are provided at cost and we don’t expect any introductory fees or commissions. The result is an ever widening group of top professionals who can work with us to support our clients. That’s the power of association.
For an invitation to our next business lunch, please reach out to us.
(Image by standret on Freepik)