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Do I Need a Succession Plan If I'm Going to Sell the Business?

Some would say “No.” And they might be right. However, I would encourage them to talk with Jay (not his real name) before they make a final decision.

We had been talking with Jay for several months about why a succession plan would be important to him. “My children have no interest in the business,” he told us. And, since he had no brothers, sisters, or other generational family members involved or interested in the business, he could see no practical value in moving ahead with our recommendations regarding succession planning. 

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5 Problems and Solutions in Estate Planning Trusts

Estate planning is an integral part of business succession planning. I am commonly asked what are the most common problems encountered in estate planning trusts.  There are so many problems with trust administration it is difficult to find a place to start or where to stop.  For lack of a better plan, let’s consider what I have found to be the top five trust administration problems:

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Vision, Conflict and Business

A clear, concise, well communicated, self-affirming vision is a critical component to the creation of an unstoppable family business succession plan.  However, just establishing a vision in this complicated world is not enough because in the business succession realm, this vision involves teamwork. Unfortunately those whom we endear, those whom we love, those whom we depend upon to continue our businesses and those who depend upon us for their careers can complicate our circumstances and the achievement of a succession vision that on a good day has many moving parts and on a bad day can appear mind boggling. In the midst of complications with family, key managers, lenders and vendors succession can become such a hassle that a business owner may want to isolate himself. Unfortunately this isolation is completely counter productive to the achievement of a vision that requires a team effort. Within the realm of business succession planning, the vast majority of these succession problems are cause by vision conflict. Allow me to explain this frustrating predicament and the remedy.

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Sibling Partnerships

Sibling Partnerships: If you are a part of a sibling partnership in business or anticipate being in one in the near future, please understand that your relationship, just like any other relationship, will require a significant amount of effort to make it an effective one. Effective sibling partnerships will not happen by default. Natural behavior is to be competitive, self promoting and self serving. It takes a purposeful, dedicated effort to achieve win/win with siblings and there are many factors that lead to the effectiveness of sibling partnerships. Here are ten fundamental suggestions as to how you can establish and sustain an effective working relationship with one or more siblings:

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Brand Bible?

What should be determined immediately is if "brand bible" is just being used as a cute term for core policies and procedures or do they really mean "Brand Bible."

The concept of using the term brand bible conveys that this document is the foundation or reference for belief, trust and faith. Inherent with the behavior, attitude, attained skills, knowledge and experience that are associated with belief, trust and faith there is the assumption that the business will grow in power, strength and resilience. However, this is faulty logic if there has been no process through which the brand bible has been proven as the source of strength as in Bible. In the absence of a profession of belief and faith by the rank and file employees and managers who are integral to the strength in the mystical powers of branding the use of the term bible is very assumptive. Actually, a safer presumption would be that all those exposed to the brand bible the first time will have doubt or even cynicism. 

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