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Scott Snider, President at Exit Planning Institute

Scott Snider, President at Exit Planning Institute, speaks to The Industry Leaders about how he helps business owners and their company align closer, helping them stay relevant, run more efficiently, and adapt to the changing markets they are in.

How did you end up sitting where you are today?

I am a lifelong entrepreneur. I started my first company while I was in high school and then had the opportunity to sell my company in 2010. After selling my first business, I partnered with my father, Chris, who owned an exit planning and value growth consulting practice and was a CEPA, a Certified Exit Planning Advisor, at the time. I joined his firm to help him and his business partner grow that company.

As that practice progressed, my dad and I ended up buying the Exit Planning Institute in 2012 through our private investment company, Snider Premier Growth. As we began to implement our growth strategy for EPI, we knew we needed more leadership. So we decided I would move roles in 2014 and begin to lead the Exit Planning Institute, overseeing the implementation of our company’s growth strategy and overall operations.

What kind of work does your role involve?

Just like many presidents of lower middle-market companies, you still wear many hats. I work with our customers, build relationships with large national accounts and strategic partners, create and drive strategy, solve issues, mentor and coach our team, and write relevant industry content, amongst other items.

I would sum up my role as I oversee our “4Cs”: The four intangible capitals in every company. Those four are Human, Structural, Social and Customer.

In other words, I oversee attracting, retaining, growing, and taking care of our people. I make sure those people have the right systems in place to make everything run as productively and efficiently as possible. Additionally, I develop strong customer relationships with our company and drive company culture and core values.

What gets you excited about your industry?

Massive opportunities for great and positive changes.

We help small and lower middle market business owners build more significant companies. A significant company is one that is valuable, transferable, and aligned to the business owner’s business, personal and financial goals. Today most business owners do not have this.

Studies show that 80 per cent of the companies do not sell or transition. Family businesses, in particular, are only 30 per cent successful into the next generation and only 12 per cent into the third generation. Our methodology helps business owners avoid becoming a part of these statistics and create something significant. By doing so, not only is their future more secure, but their customers, employees, partners, vendors, and the overall community is more secure as that company can transition.

What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

The first thing that comes to mind isn’t necessarily something someone gave me but something I read. It is “Do not follow where the path may lead, but go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." I have lived by this mentality from a very young age.

How do you support aspiring leaders in your field?

I support them through our education and community. Leaders in our field are typically professional advisors who are trying to help business owners change their outcomes. We support these advisors through transformational education, a great process and methodology, and giving them the tools and resources they need to provide this type of leadership and advice.

How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?

Reading, podcasts, and webinars all help me maintain a general mindset of purposeful growth. Always be learning and improving.

What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?

Pivoting our company through COVID-19. In short, in March of 2020, EPI was a professional education company that provided 100 per cent of its programming through in-person platforms. As the country began to shut down, we had no way to deliver our programming.

Our company had to pivot.

Within 45 days, we built an entire virtual platform for our marquee credentialing program. Between that pivot and the overall pivot to hybrid work environments, handling changing customer needs, and the health and wellness of our team, this is undoubtedly the biggest challenge in my career.

You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

If it were immediately outside of my office, I would walk back in and ask if any of my teammates played the lottery and lost their ticket.

How do you define failure?

Easy: not achieving a set goal and objective is a learning opportunity for future initiatives.

If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?

To see the Value Acceleration Methodology taught regularly starting at the college level on up into the market. I wish all advisors believed in the same process and organising principle of aligning business owners’ business, personal and financial goals. Bringing the exit as some thought in the future into the now, the present. And building companies of significance.

What book or podcast should everyone know about?

I would recommend that everyone read “Walking to Destiny: 11 Actions to Rapidly Grow Value and Unlock Wealth”. This book is an excellent overview of exit planning, value acceleration, and business growth.

How should people connect with you?

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