Volunteering to Help Grow the Business Valuation Profession

You have heard and read a lot recently about the staffing issues the business valuation profession faces. Where are the people who will lead and staff the profession in the future going to come from? There are many causes of the shortage of people, but one that too often gets overlooked is the shortage of training opportunities for young and inexperienced people coming into the profession. While there are some great organizations that help fill that gap, for example, our own Business Valuation Resources, those organizations can only provide these opportunities if experienced professionals are willing to provide their expertise to train others who are just coming into the profession.

I started in this business in 1980 during the nascent days of business valuation as a profession. The BV professionals who formed the core of the profession were always there to help each other and to give of their time generously to others who were seeking to enhance their own skills or who were just coming into the profession. These professionals (you would recognize most if not all of their names) are getting a little long in the tooth as am I. Their volunteer efforts need to be replaced, and that can only happen if the current cadre of BV professionals who are younger also step up to the plate.

It is sometimes difficult to “break into,” for example, speaking opportunities. There was a period of time where the “big names” were dominating the speaking opportunities. That is not true any longer. I know that, at BVR, we are always looking for speakers and for topics.

But speaking is only one way to provide your knowledge and experience to the profession. Some BV organizations have mentoring programs. But, outside of a formal mentoring program, it helps if the experienced BV professionals let it be known that they are available to provide assistance to others in the profession. I have always been generous with my time to other professionals. As recently as last week, I consulted with another professional on an issue on which he was working. I spent probably 30 minutes with him and did not ask for nor expect compensation for my time. I know that many of the BV professionals who are my peers do the same often.

I would hope that some of the younger BV professionals would do the same and offer to help their fellow professionals whether upcoming or experienced. It is through these volunteers that we can make the BV profession more enticing to new professionals. A closed society is not good for growth. I am sure many of you will heed the call.