August 11, 2010 - Hot topics of discussion for “Boomer” business owners are golf weekends, grandbabies, and vacation homes, anything but exit strategy or retirement. They have spent almost a lifetime of blood, sweat and tears building a business that they are now are ready to reap the rewards from - not exit and turn over to the next generation, which is leaving many businesses vulnerable to a variety of factors impacting business success.
Frequently, the business is the greatest source of an owner’s self esteem. Therefore, reluctance to pursue genuine succession planning and activate an exit strategy is understandably difficult as it can be associated with a loss of personal identify or even severing a relationship with the business owner’s “first born,” (the business) says David Ciambella, a Partner of The Rawls Group, a national specialized business succession planning firm.
From an owner’s perspective, there are many considerations involved such as: identifying a capable successor, successor preparation, financial independence from the business, and when (if ever) should control be transferred. Preparing for a successful transition takes good old fashioned time, somewhere between 3-10 years depending upon the age, experience, commitment and competency of the successor and complexities of the business.
The following are 5 steps business owners should follow to position themselves, their family and business for success as personal lifestyle and financial security is dependent on business longevity.
1. Recognize your stewardship responsibility to your family, employees, vendors, and community. They are depending upon you and your business.
2. Address your fear of what life may be like after you exit your business. Not addressing it, does not mean it will never happen, it just means you may not be properly prepared.
3. Write down your goals for yourself, family and business for the next 5, 10, 15 years and what the keys of success will be to fulfill those goals.
4. Communicate those goals with your family, key advisors, and key managers within your business.
5. Create an action plan for achieving those goals and frequently review with your family, key advisors, and key managers in your business
The Rawls Group is a nationally recognized succession planning firm that specializes in working with owners of privately held businesses. Since 1973 the firm has distinguished itself by helping its clients understand and navigate the interdependent issues that impact the continued success of a business enterprise. By partnering with clients and their advisors, The Rawls Group works to develop a plan that will perpetuate the leadership, culture, performance and relationships that are critical to business success. www.rawlsgroup.com
View Company Website: http://www.rawlsgroup.com