Mainebiz recently polled it’s readers about succession planning. Only 11 people responded and of those only 4 of the 11 companies said they did have a succession plan. With only 11 people chiming in, it makes one wonder why more people didn’t respond. Did they not have a plan and too embarassed to admit it to themselves?
Succession planning is one of those things you do after you have your business running smoothly right? Businesses fail after an owner becomes critically ill, becomes disabled or has an accident and no one is lined up to take over. I remember a Maine business where the owner died unexpectedly in his 50’s. There had not been any succession planning nor was there a will. His wife took over the business as well as his young son. Neither had been fully involved in the business end of things much. But they took over. Their goal was to “keep the business going”. Keeping a business going is not the same as making it viable. There were no goals, no plan, no benchmarks, well you get the picture. The place was not kept up and the employees started to run away for lack of security.
When the wife died, the son still was not equipped to run the financial end of the business. The business was sold for far less than it could have sold for had the business had someone running it that knew what they were doing. Building value in a company is something that is done constantly. You want an exit plan that gives you the highest return for your investment. The most difficult part for owners to understand is that that day could come sooner than retirement.
Succession planning is a critical part of your business. Don’t delay to get it done. TODAY is the day to start it.
Leading Edge Business Strategies, LLC is a consulting firm for small businesses. Paul Beaudette is President and has over 30 years of successful business experience managing companies to sustainable profits and coaching owners and employees to more productivity and aspiring to growth.Social tagging: advisor > business > business plan > owner > planning > president > small business > succession > threat