It is time to get your ducks in a line when your firm has over 25 clients, one staff person, and you decide you want the business to produce lifetime income to you.
It costs PENNIES to do the right thing for your clients, you, your business, and your staff. And yet, I continue to find firms that aren’t willing to pay the $95/month to FP Transitions or other providers to institute a one-page Emergency Backup plan, obtain a valuation, and create a continuity plan. And I am shocked to see so many owners scramble after they see a business friend get sick. There is nothing more disheartening than see a business tank due to lack of planning or an advisor owner realizing they are short on money to relax because they didn’t plan ahead.
Whatever the reason for avoiding planning for the future, I can promise you that if you plan ahead, you will sleep better at night.
And the bonus of compiling items for your safe (list below) is you will attract better staff, uncover time saving opportunities, and boost profitability. So make this checklist below your top priority and get going!
Items to obtain and put in your safe
- List type of business entity, and if applicable, articles of incorporation.
- Identify staff person who is licensed in the state as a temporary backup.
- Organization chart.
- Tech inventory list that lists the username to each administrator’s license (not the password) and vendor’s phone # and support email address.
- Report that lists client relationships, annual fee, primary advisor (could use CRM and UDF fields to create and update this report easily)
- List your Custodian contact information and process if you were to die or become incompetent
- Directions to obtain keys and codes to the office
- Landlord lease contract in your safe along with their contact information
- List the Payroll service name, contact and phone.
- List of bank, credit card, and debt accounts. Confirm the owner’s spouse is on the signature page of the checkbooks.
- Latest company’s annual federal and state tax returns in the safe.
- Screenprint of CRM major processes such as Lead, Prospect, New Client, Client Review Meeting, Investment Reporting, Updating a Financial Plan, Marketing Drip on Clients, Marketing Drip on COIs/Prospects (showing where the major processes reside)
- Audit letters received from the SEC or state during the last five calendar years in the safe
- List name of executor, accountant and estate attorney.
- Copy of latest valuation
- Continuity agreement with the other advisor, outlining the intention, price, timing, and process for transfer.
- Updated living trust or will which acknowledges the continuity agreement.
Thank you for doing the right thing and planning for your and your business’ future. Sleep well
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