2020 State of the Institute Key Takeaways

In the 2020 State of the Institute Address broadcast, Scott Snider reviewed the accomplishments of 2019 on a local, national, and industry-wide level. Then, looking ahead, he provided attendees a first-look at the advancements, programs, new benefits, and schedule EPI has implemented for 2020.

Here are the key takeaways from the broadcast:

2019 Insights:

  • Five Years (or Less) Til Exit: 70% of owners are attempting to transition within 5 years
  • Intuitive Interpersonal Skills Needed: 60% of advisors would engage in exit planning if approached differently by their advisor
  • Exit Matters to Owners: On average, 85% of owners agreed that having a transition strategy is important to succeed
  • Abundance Mentality versus Scarcity Mindset: More collaboration between CEPAs than ever before
  • Three Predominant Types of CEPAs: Value Advisors, Multi-Service Firms, and Influencers

When it comes to reflecting on the past and preparing for the future, we like to ask ourselves questions. And when it comes to exit planning and forecasting your next best step, here are some of the right questions you can ask yourself in 2020 to yield the results you desire:

  1. How long will the current market hold?
  2. [For owners] Do I sell now? Do I hold and address value?
  3. How are CEPAs positioned to support?

Looking ahead to 2020…

EPI is growing and expanding to cover the demand in the marketplace. Here are a few quick takeaways about how the organization will evolve in 2020 to better serve your needs!

1. Expanding to offer 8+ CEPA Programs.

To meet popular demand, EPI has increased our annual program lineup across the country:

In addition to these options, we will release up to two more programs to be announced soon for Q4 (considering host cities like Nashville, Orlando, Tampa, or Houston)! If you haven’t been to check out EarnCEPA.com in a while, now is the perfect time to explore and make plans to join us in your city of choice!

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

2. Adding new experts to the CEPA Faculty lineup.

In addition to our esteemed roster of experts and industry titans, EPI is pleased to announce several new additions to the expert CEPA Faculty, including:

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

3. CEPA Community Grows Beyond 2,000 Advisors.

Based on our current trends, we will certify 560+ new CEPAs in 2020. This is a major organizational milestone. With the support of the growing community, CEPA will continue to enable the Value Acceleration Methodology to help more owners and bring more advisors together to achieve common goals!

It is estimated that in the next two to three years alone, the CEPA community will grow to nearly 5,000 exit planning advisors all of whom will need creative, administrative, and strategic support. EPI has already begun the journey towards expansion in both resources and team buildout.

Connect with your CEPA community at FindACEPA.com.

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

4. Living by our own Methodology: 2020 Focus on the Four C’s.

As the marketplace has grown, so has the Exit Planning Institute. We have been fortunate to attract and retain remarkable talent which enables us to be agile and attentive to the needs of our members.

To stage ourselves to better deliver on our brand promise as our company continues its rapid growth trajectory, EPI has been actively working on the Four C’s:

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

Customer Capital:

Introducing your new Brand Experience Department, which is now comprised of five dedicated account executives and administrators!

Each CEPA will have direct access to a member experience representative with expansive knowledge in marketing, utilizing EPI content in their practice, practitioner support, developing peer groups, and more.

Five marketing coordinators providing local marketing support! Chapter presidents and local leaders will have an assigned, dedicated marketer working directly for their region to better serve your unique and timebound needs. 2020 will showcase added resources and efforts to expand your platform and increase your influence!

Moreover, EPI will expand into six new regions with local chapters and communities to foster best practices and support coast-to-coast!

Human Capital:

Our team is growing quickly. In fact, EPI will employ two times the 2019 staff count by July 2020!

Executive Management Team: Focused on the future of the organization, upholding the highest standards in the industry, and propelling the entire profession forward.

  • Chris Snider, CEPA, EPI CEO/President, Head of Faculty, Author of Walking to Destiny: 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value and Unlock Wealth [connect on LinkedIn]
  • Scott Snider, EPI Vice President, Author of Fishing For Value: A Short Story About Succession Planning, Business Growth, and Exit [connect on LinkedIn]
  • Jocelyn Bires, EPI Executive Assistant [connect on LinkedIn]

Brand Experience Team: Focused on the individual needs of each member, overall expansion of EPI & CEPA brand awareness, producing immediately actionable education, enhancing CEPA long term success using solution-mindset, developing products that solve your problems, and providing member support to sustain throughout your career.

Business Development Team: Focused on new CEPA growth while helping advisors from all disciplines reinvent themselves using the designation and the Value Acceleration Methodology, providing quick and reliable information, enabling decisions, and growing the CEPA community with experts aligned with the organizing principle of exit planning.

Structural Capital:

EPI has begun major advancements in technology and process improvement, including migration to a newly envisioned EPI Online Member Center, AI-enhanced research tools, intellectual property development, and Chapter Governance and Benefits updates that will set EPI up to leverage the past and spring ahead into the future!

Social Capital:

EPI believes in ongoing learning (one could only hope, as we are an education company!). While growth is exciting, we are also hyper-focused on building a solid foundation. A foundational team that will support you for years to come.

In addition to hiring top talent, we are focused on professional development company-wide! Collectively in 2020, our team will undergo leadership training with renowned NFL Executive Coach Dr. Fred Johnson, obtain multiple certifications in Google Analytics and HubSpot Content Marketing, complete the “15 books in 15 weeks” challenge (thanks for the idea, Sean!), and attend many advisory conferences to develop deeper and stronger industry acumen.

We want to retain the talent we attract, both internally and in our membership. So we are focused on delivering unmatched educational experiences for our entire community! We’ve added a few notes below about this year’s major CEPA Event (2020 Exit Planning Summit) and we look forward to releasing the full details in early April to showcase our investment in your personal and professional success! See a couple of sneak peaks below…

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

5. The Most Growth-Focused Exit Planning Summit to date.

  • 2020 Exit Planning Summit: Hosted in San Diego at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa (September 13-16, 2020) [earlybird rates end soon]
  • New EPI Power Sessions + brand new case study groups + a new content lineup inspired by your feedback and requests!
  • Five Advanced CEPA Workshops (including the newly developed “Compliance-Friendly Marketing Bootcamp for Financial Advisors” which will be limited to the first 30 registrations)
  • EPI Live! Broadcast Series *more details about this channel to launch in Q2*

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

Three Tips to Make An Impact

To wrap up the 2020 EPI State of the Institute Address, Scott Snider left us with a few ways to make an impact in 2020.

1. Create education-centric customer communities.

Produce owner education opportunities. Consider creating a group that is networking based at first or launching an educational series to teach owners and their teams about “how to” exit. The point is to provide practical value even before someone becomes your client.

No matter the format you choose, focus on bringing peers (in this case, business owners) together and creating a common knowledge base between them. Facilitating this learning is one of the most successful strategies to have your message and your brand take hold.

2. Create collaborative groups.

An exit planning engagement is not a one-person project. And it is not exclusively a function of a singular discipline (i.e. accounting, legal, valuation, financial planning, consulting, etc.). Exit planning requires collaborative teams of professionals working together toward a common goal: a successful transition that meets the owner’s business, personal, and financial needs.

Have you created your go-to exit planning network? Do you have several like-minded colleagues that you trust? Are you currently collaborating with them to help business owner clients to achieve transition success?

If not, build out that team in 2020. Start to work collaboratively with other CEPAs and advisors who have clients staring at an exit on the horizon.

If you don’t know where to start, jump over to FindACEPA.com and connect with local exit planners in your region. Or perhaps you should pop to EPIChapters.com and find the chapter in your area so you can start forging those relationships face-to-face.

No chapter in your area? Maybe now is a good time to start one and build that collaborative group yourself.

3. Spread awareness through public speaking.

CEPA tends to attract some of the most creative, strategic, and collaborative professionals from all corners of the industry. Each advisor has a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to leverage. And at EPI, we have observed a direct correlation between those advisors who “put themselves out there” and those that key their acumen to themselves.

If you are looking to gain influence and make a big impact, develop a speech or talk on a topic you know well. Develop your content to speak to the most relevant areas that matter most to your ideal audience. Then start sharing!

Speak at your customer communities, advisor groups, partner meetings, and local networking groups. Submit proposals to speak at tradeshows, industry conferences, and main stage venues. Listen to the feedback, adapt to drive home your point, work on your craft, and spread your message far and wide. The result: INFLUENCE.

Check out our Accounting Firm Strategy webinar series!

Reinvent yourself with exit planning.

Reinventing yourself is key. When owners cross your path, you will be prepared with leadership expertise, leadership tools, technical expertise, and the support of the network to positively affect change for business owners.

Missed the live broadcast? Watch the 2020 EPI Kickoff with Vice President Scott Snider now by  clicking here.

For more information and in case you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the 2020 EPI Kickoff with Vice President Scott Snider now by clicking here. Additionally, connect with your local EPI chapter to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events!