Preparing for the End – RETIREMENT, THAT IS!

by Heidi Wilker, BComm. (HAFA), CMP, Blessed Events

Retirement – now there’s a word that generates a myriad of emotions.

For some CanSPEP members who are just starting their business, retirement is not even on their radar, or might be something for which they have aspirations in the distant future.

For several of our CanSPEP members, retirement is looming. It may stir feelings of elation, with anticipation of spending time to do the things YOU want to do, not what your clients require you to do. It may instill some panic around finances and client obligations, if a retirement plan hasn’t been considered or put in place.

Caution: ensure that you have a personal financial retirement plan outside of a plan for your company.

In creating a retirement plan for your company, there are a couple of primary aspects on which to focus:

1)      Financial residuals from the company

2)      Ensuring that your clients’ events are taken care of after you are not working with them

Some of our members have brick and mortar offices, plus staff members.

This retirement plan appears to have more potential for an efficient transition of ownership of the business, and service to clients.  An event planner within the business who is the right fit to take over needs to be identified, nurtured, and mentored into the leadership of the organization. Proper legal documents must be drawn up through a lawyer. A mutually beneficial financial arrangement must be determined – whether it is an outright purchase of the company, the retiring planner receives either a percentage of revenues or flat fee for a specified number of years, or some other agreed upon plan.

Client accounts/files can be shifted to other appropriate staff members, with training and transitioning.

The majority of our members’ companies are sole proprietorship, and their office is in their home.

This type of Independent Event Planner has likely often thought, “My business is primarily me and my services – I don’t have a tangible business product to sell off.”  However, there are ways that this category of event planner can reap at least some financial benefits into retirement years.

Consider finding another CanSPEP member whose business and planning style complements yours, and who would be interested in being mentored to work with your clients over a time of transition. Of course, you will need to inform your clients of your plans, and ensure they are comfortable with this partnership.

You might provide consulting services to this planner after your business has closed, with compensation being paid.

I have been extremely fortunate to have found a young planner who is familiar and comfortable with my niche religious market.  I am mentoring her in her newly-founded event planning business, having her partner with me on some of my national clients’ events.  I’ve invested in her CanSPEP membership, and her attendance at this year’s conference.  The return on this investment goes far beyond the obvious. Angela Chorney is based in Victoria, BC, and is committed to helping CanSPEP expand its membership into Western Canada.

I have also begun to bring some other CanSPEP members into partnership on some of my local clients’ events, with the hope of transitioning them to take over the accounts.

After I close “Blessed Events” at the end of 2019, I have plans to continue assisting Angela via consulting and mentoring, develop some interesting retreat programs, increasing my crochet work output, spending more time with my retired husband, and enjoying our five grandchildren.


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