To be most effective, members need a framework or methodology that helps them engage with their clients as well as collaborate with other professionals on projects. The methodology should provide guidance in conveying the right message, utilize the right tools, conduct the appropriate assessments, and create action plans for the improvement of the client's business.
The Alliance has created a standard methodology called the 10-Step Action Plan that begins with the expert member identifying the personal needs of the client, evaluating the business, and determining the gap between the needs and the state of the business.
The expert then assists the owner in creating a plan to improve the profitability of the business. Profitability in itself is not enough, especially when the end-game is the sale of the business. The owner must enhance and expose the value of the business beyond its financials. In some cases, this calls for growth financing.
When it is time to pass on the reins of the business to a new owner, whether external or to family and friends, the owner needs to have a succession plan in place that includes not only the new owners but also the managers of the company.
At this point, the owner also needs to refer back to the personal needs identified in the very first Action Step and define their own personal plan for the exit transition and after exit. The formal transfer of the company then takes place. In tandem with the personal plan and transfer, estate planning for the owner is also essential.
These phases are described in the 10-Step Action Plan. There is no expectation that one expert will assist the owners with all these phases; in fact, most members specialize in a few of these expert areas, and will partner with other professionals to create a star team to assist the owner effectively.