Preparing for Your Exit: Time Management in Selling Your Financial Planning Business Successfully

For the past few years, I’ve been consulting with business owners looking to exit the ownership of their Financial Planning businesses. All of them have been rightfully proud of the business they’ve built and the advice that has helped clients lead better lives.

However, the time comes when the business owner must take their own advice and transition into retirement. For most it means selling their business.

If this sounds like you, keep reading. This is the first in a three-part series addressing the major challenges in achieving a successful financial and emotional exit. In this article, we focus on time management, future articles will address client fees and data management.

Time Management

When it comes to exiting their business, financial planners often don’t take their own advice. Over my three plus decades of working with Financial Planners, I’ve observed that while dedicated to their clients, they are poor at allocating time for themselves. Here’s an example from my own experience:

In my proposal to a client, I wrote:

In my many decades of working with Financial Planners I can comfortably say that many of them are fabulous at giving their time to their clients. In contrast they are very ordinary at giving time to themselves with one of the main tasks that get overlooked is the creation of a plan that allows for an orderly and financially beneficial exit from the business they’ve owned and loved for a long time.”

The reply I received was:

Thank you for this info – can you give us some time to look over it all and get back to you – flat out at present – ta.

While this answer shows their dedication to their clients, it also highlights the challenge facing business owners. If you’ve survived a GFC, FoFA, a Royal Commission and its fallout you’ve probably invested a lot of “blood, sweat and tears” into your business. It’s ok to seek the best possible outcome for your hard work and the clients you’ve helped.

The 5 Time Zones of Selling

Now is the time to take your own advice by setting goals and implementing a plan for a smooth and profitable transition from owning a business.

  1. Balance Your Time: Allocate time between clients, business and self.
  2. Get Your Business In Shape: Dedicate time to prepare your business for sale. A well-prepared business attracts better offers.
  3. Invest time to Prepare Professionally. Your ability to present your business professionally to potential acquirers can significantly impact the outcome.
  4. Understand the Timeline: The selling process could take 12 months or longer and will require substantial time investment.
  5. It takes time. Expect to spend well over 100 hours on the process whilst managing your existing client base.

The market has stabilized over the last 12 months, still with many well-prepared businesses looking to scale up through acquisition. We’re also seeing a steady rise in capital-rich organisations looking to invest in Financial Planning businesses.

With more options available to sellers, it’s crucial to choose a buyer who offers a fair price and shares your values for client care.

If you are planning to exit your financial planning business in the next five years, it’s time to get ahead of the game and take steps to ensure a successful transition.

For more information on the time, you’ll need to invest in selling your business, I offer a free 30-minute consultation.

Please contact me Jon Remmington on 0478 321 694 or at