Last month we discussed Your Best Option – A Family Member! Well, what if you don’t have a Family Member waiting to dive into your business? Or what if your Family Member is not ready when you are?

Your Second Best Option could be a Business Partner that you’ve been nurturing and training to take on your clients! That takes time and energy too, but is well worth it in the long run. We’re often freer about giving our hard-earned asset, our business, to a Family Member that we are to a Business Partner. However, look at it this way, you often don’t get to choose your family member, but you always get to choose your Business Partner. They offer a better opportunity for success if you’ve chosen correctly and had the opportunity to adequately mentor and train your partner. Make sure you take the time (3-5 years for an experienced agent) to train them and help your customers feel comfortable with your new partner. You’ll want their relationships to be as good as yours! Hoarding your customers by not introducing them to your partner and not building your partner up in front of them, will only lead to lesser trust when the time comes to make the transition. You want them totally trusting your partner too! Have them participate in your transactions enough to be known. It’ll pay dividends.

Of course, there’s always the possibility of them leaving your business before you make the final transaction. Then you have to start all over and there may not be enough time with your plans to make that happen. Never rush the transition or you’ll be leaving money on the table! And the risk of failure increases dramatically when you rush. Your clients need to get to know and trust your successor.

You’ll want to stay around in the background for a few years after the transition if possible. That’ll help your clients to feel more comfortable with your new team lead because they’ll know you’re available if needed. They’ll seldom come to you, but it’s comforting to know they can.

Yes, there are pros and cons with a Business Partner. It’ll take a few years of planning and then training to get it going. But it’ll pay out nicely. We always suggest keeping a B Plan in your back pocket just in case. Stepping Up! can be that B Plan because we’re already trained and waiting. And we know how to develop the necessary trust in your clients. Just DON’T walk away from your really good business and leave all that future income on the table. We hate seeing that!!! Think it out years before, or talk to us if you haven’t, we can make it work.