My client, “Mike,” is 53 years old and receiving referrals from his top-end clients. But some of the referrals are below the minimum he wants to work with and he still hasn’t found the time to do much with the children of his clients. Mike is very focused on continuing to grow his practice but he’s at a stage where he wants to be more efficient about it.
Solution –Rethink the “Junior” Partner Model
I suggested Mike bring someone on to handle his smaller accounts and second generation clients. It might sound like a succession plan but it’s not. Mike is a long ways from thinking about retirement and this approach actually aligns with Mike’s focus on growing his practice.
Having a younger partner creates a number of opportunities for Mike. Someone who takes on the accounts Mike doesn’t have time for will increase Mike’s revenue and the value of his practice. A partner also gives him a better story to tell if he’s interested in an acquisition. When asked how he’ll handle the increased capacity, he can say, “I’ve got another guy,” which makes him a much more appealing candidate.
The key for Mike is finding the right partner, someone who’s junior to him in experience, but with a proven track record. The ideal candidate would have a self-sustaining practice and be eager to grow it. In addition to having a good work ethic and compatible goals, the partner needs to be someone’s whose personality is a good fit with Mike’s.
Generational Partnership – A Flexible Approach to Growth
The approach I proposed for Mike is a Generational Partnership. It can be an effective strategy for a senior partner who’s in their 40’s- 50’s, with a practice they’re looking to grow.
When a partnership isn’t driven by a more immediate succession timeline, there’s breathing room to explore what works. Mike and his partner have time to determine what their chemistry is like, and if it’s good, they can extend their partnership. Eventually, Mike’s partner may play a major role in Mike’s succession plans. Either way, it gives Mike more options.
To establish his Generational Partnership, I helped Mike:
• Understand what his goals are
• Identify a partner who would help achieve them
• Spell out exactly how the partnership will work.
The key to success is finding a good match between partners and being clear about expectations.
Mike is very satisfied with his generational partnership. His practice is growing, he’s using his time efficiently, he is adding value to his enterprise, and he has a dedicated colleague he enjoys working with.
For more information about how a Generational Partnership can work for you, contact me …….