Financial Matters

Business Succession Planning

Bill Hortz, Founder of the Institute for Innovation Development, recently interviewed Jennifer Specter, Shareholder/Chief Operations and Compliance Officer, and Alyssa Dalbey, CPWA®, CFP® and Shareholder/Wealth Manager at Schultz Financial Group (SFG) to understand how and why SFG offers succession planning as a standard offering to their business clients.

Hortz: Why do you feel your firm should offer business succession planning as part of your overall advisory services?

Alyssa: Entrepreneurs and business owners are one of our primary client segments to whom we provide wealth management and business consulting services. Typically, their business is the highest value asset on their balance sheet, so this naturally leads us to conversations about business succession planning.

Hortz: How do you broach the subject of succession planning with your business clients?

Jennifer: Our approach is to have a candid conversation. They know what it takes to run their business and they know how much of that relies solely on them. So, we address them very directly and ask them what happens if they unexpectedly die or become incapacitated? Who is going to run the business in their absence? 

We let them know that even though these preliminary conversations about succession planning may be challenging and uncomfortable for them, our goal is to help provide them with peace of mind by putting a long-term plan in place.

Hortz: How do you proactively work with your business clients on succession planning? What process do you follow and what resources do you provide them?

Alyssa: Our process involves the following steps:

  • Assess their current business situation – We evaluate the current state of their business (profitability, key roles, potential successors, etc.) and determine the potential profitability (or lack of profitability) if our client were no longer able to run their business.
  • Understand their goals and priorities – We have discussions with our client and their family to understand their goals and preferences. Do they want a family member to continue to own and manage the business in their absence or do they want to sell to key employees or a third party? How does their business integrate with their family’s personal mission and values?
  • Identify Action Plans – Based on their goals, we provide them with different action plan options and help them understand the implications of each plan and how it will impact their business, their clients/customers, and their successors.
  • Develop a Formal Succession Plan – We coordinate with third-party resources (legal, tax, valuation, etc.) to create a detailed plan for our client that includes specific steps, timelines, and responsibilities.
  • Invest in Professional Development – We encourage our business clients to provide training and development opportunities for their potential successors so they will have the necessary skills and knowledge to step into their future leadership roles and be able to seamlessly run the business.

Hortz: Any advice you can share on how best to convince business owners on why they need to set up a succession plan?

Jennifer: I think emphasizing the key elements of what a business succession plan can provide such as:

  • Business Continuity and Stability – It’s critical to have a plan for leadership transition to avoid business disruptions. A good succession plan helps ensure that critical business functions continue seamlessly when you are no longer there.
  • Talent Development and Retention – Succession planning demonstrates to your employees that there are clear pathways for career advancement which encourages them to stay engaged and contribute to the overall success of the company.
  • Business Value and Profitability – A solid plan evaluates the company’s current and projected resale value and can help boost the company’s stability and profitability.

Alyssa: I would say to look at business succession planning like buying an insurance policy, only there is a 100% chance that you are going to need it. There will be a period when you can no longer work in your business for various reasons (retirement, illness, death, etc.). So, do you want to spend the time now while you are healthy and engaged in the business to be proactive and create a plan that’s in your best interest, that’ll serve you, your family, and your legacy for generations to come? Or do you want to just run the business full speed ahead and see what happens at the end (and that is not likely to be a good or profitable outcome).  A well-thought-out succession plan can safeguard your family’s wealth, and your company’s future and operational stability so the prudent thing to do is to have a succession plan in place.

Reach out to us today if you’re a business owner with questions about succession planning.



Schultz Financial Group, Inc. (“SFG”) is a registered investment adviser with a primary business location in Reno, Nevada. Registration as an investment adviser is not an endorsement by securities regulators and does not imply that SFG has attained a certain level of skill, training, or ability. The Institute for Innovation Development (“IID”) is an educational and business catalyst for members determined to grow their businesses in a world of constant change, which is dedicated to educate, arm, support and motivate team member firms in making innovation best practices a vital cornerstone for their business growth. SFG and IID are not affiliated, meaning that neither entity controls the other entity, and they are not under common control. IID is not an SFG client, and nothing in this article is intended to be an “endorsement” of SFG by IID. Neither SFG nor IID compensated the other party for the publication of this article. However, SFG is a “member firm” of IID, which pays membership fees to participate in IID activities. Therefore, the recommendation by IID that an individual engage SFG presents a conflict of interest because it could be made based on IID’s interest in continuing its relationship with SFG and the collection of membership fees. IID drafted this article for the use of the other financial advisors. Not all services will be appropriate or necessary for all clients, and the potential value and benefit of the SFG’s services will vary based upon the client’s individual investment, financial, and tax circumstances. The effectiveness and potential success of a tax strategy, investment strategy, and financial plan depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the manner and timing of implementation, coordination with the client and the client’s other engaged professionals, and market conditions. This should not be construed as specific investment, financial planning or tax advice tailored to an individual reader. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of SFG as of the date of publication and are subject to change. This article does not constitute personalized advice from SFG or its affiliated investment professionals, or a solicitation to execute specific securities transactions. Readers should not use any of this content as the sole basis for any investment, financial planning, tax, legal or other decisions. Rather, SFG recommends that readers consult SFG and their other professional advisers (including their lawyers and accountants) and consider independent due diligence before implementing any of the options directly or indirectly referenced above. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss, and different investments and types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. There can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including those undertaken or recommended by SFG, will be profitable or equal any historical performance level. Additional information about SFG, including its Form ADV Part 2A describing its services, fees, and applicable conflicts of interest and Form CRS is available upon request and at