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News & Posts

    Truth in pricing is a common issue when discussing the sale of a business. The selling price of their company is a point of pride for any owner. When they are willing to share the price they were paid, they usually include everything that was listed in the purchase agreement. While there is…

The Value Gap is one of the most used phrases in exit planning. Simply stated, it’s the difference between what a business owner would realize if he or she sold the company today, and what they need to embark on a financially secure “next act” after business ownership. Both amounts can be determined with some…

Business owners, advisors, and buyers frequently have widely different impressions of value when it comes to a business. The Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Survey canvasses intermediaries who sell privately held Main Street and mid-market companies. One question is about the obstacles that prevented the sale of a business. The number one response is “Owners’ unreasonable…

Dealing with  COVID fatigue unites business owners. If that sounds strange to you, let me make my case. I’m not doing this to whine, but I want business owners who don’t have an existing support structure to know that they aren’t alone. I facilitate several peer groups of business owners. For decades, we’ve met monthly…

Purpose after the sale is one of the biggest challenges for an exiting owner. Purpose – “Having as one’s intention or objective.” Many exit planning advisors discuss the three legs of the exit planning stool – business readiness, financial readiness and personal readiness. In our previous two articles, we focused on two of the “big…

  In our last article about life after the sale we discussed identity. Even when business owners are comfortable with who they are, however, there is still the nuts and bolts issue of activity. A business owner spends 20, 30, or (not uncommonly with Boomers,) 40 years focused on running a business. Unless they’ve built a substantial…

Work from anywhere has been a necessity, an epithet, an obstacle, and an opportunity over the last 3 years. To paraphrase Aristotle’s axiom about Nature (“Horror Vacui”), business abhors a vacuum. Where one occurs, it is quickly filled. Work from anywhere started as a COVID-induced necessity. During the lockdowns of 2020-2021 (and longer in some…

Life after the sale is often both the most important and most neglected factor in exit planning. Although (according to two different surveys in 2013 and 2022,) 75% of owners report regrets or unhappiness a year after the transition, exit plans continue to be constructed primarily around financial targets. In the event you haven’t heard…

Lifestyle and Legacy are two very different types of owner transition objectives. When we ask a client “What do you expect as a result of our exit planning?” the answer may be about the money, the time frame, or the impact on people. No matter how it is phrased, the response will break down into…

Since 2013 I’ve updated this piece about the underappreciated and forgotten boss of A Christmas Carol, Mr. Fezziwig. I hope that you enjoy it. Merry Christmas! Last week was the 180th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (December 17, 1843). The immortal words of Ebenezer Scrooge are ingrained in the memory of the entire…

Owner obstacles to the implementation of an exit plan are often unconscious, but they can be dramatic.  Their attachment to the business can be difficult to break. An advisor spends a lot of time and energy developing the vision for life after ownership in the hopes that it is far more attractive to them than…

Defining the role of a coach on your exit planning team doesn’t just happen. Like any other aspect of working with consultants, you need to set expectations upfront. Many advisors like to characterize themselves as the “quarterback” of a transition planning team. I’ve always objected to that. We regard the business owner as the quarterback…

Delegation and depth are critical when presenting your business as a buying opportunity. For many business owners, exit planning means getting the company ready for sale to a third party. There are a number of approaches to enhancing preparedness for a third-party sale. Assessing Readiness Some planning software products begin with a comprehensive survey of…

When preparing for the transfer of a business, there are many stakeholders who can impact your plan. Some have direct authority or decision-making capability over the transaction, but others may have substantial influence. In general, it’s best to presume that anyone who has a relationship with the owner or the business will have some impact…

Is there an AI role in Exit Planning? The media is packed with stories about Artificial Intelligence. According to the stories, because a smart search engine (which is essentially what a Learning Language Model [LLM] is,) can pass a Bar exam, it threatens all kinds of white-collar careers. And in case you were wondering, no…

The road less traveled is often a misimpression when considering a transition from business ownership. Surveys show that roughly 85% of owners expect their exit to happen via a sale of the business to a third party. A third-party sale is certainly attractive. The idea of monetizing decades of work in one lump-sum payoff seems…

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