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The Difference between a Family Member Employee and a Successor

A client who managed the family business alongside his two siblings recently told me his son was graduating and he wanted to develop a plan for his son to join the business. The client wanted this successor development curriculum so he could give his son the assurance that he was being fast tracked.  He stated it was very important for his son to catch up to his cousins who entered the business six years earlier, otherwise his son may not be considered as a viable successor candidate.  I responded with an explanation that a family business could have the good fortune to have more than one successor. 

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Rediscovery: The Secret to Life Transitions

Regardless of the kinds of activities you follow – sports, music, movies, politics, etc. – you’ve probably wondered why some people hang around for so long, and sometimes too long. Brett Favre may have played one season too many. Frank Sinatra may have sung a few years too many. Why it happens is fairly simple; and how it happens should be a lesson to all of us. 

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Succession Planners, Exit Planners, Family Business Advisors: What’s the difference?

Succession planner, exit planner and family business advisor are terms often used interchangeably providing the assumption that they all share the same meaning. While the exit planner and family business advisor endeavor to address some components of succession planning, there is a clear distinction between their limited scope and the comprehensive mission of a succession planner.  

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Financial Affairs - Eliminate Surprise For Your Loved Ones

A few years ago, a new client who lost his wife prematurely came to me with a large box full of papers that included several pieces of financial information including a dozen or so old life insurance policies. He had no idea if the life insurance policies were in force or not. Needless to say, investigating the contents of this large box was quite time consuming. During one of the lowest points in his life, losing his wife of thirty years, this gentleman and his children were tasked with pulling the pieces of their financial puzzle together. 

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Take a Succession Snapshot - Do you Know Where You Stand?

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About The Rawls Group - Business Succession Planners

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The Succession Matrix - What You Need To Know about the Issues Impacting Your Succession Goals

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Family Business Succession Planning Process

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Family Dyamics and Governance - A Positive or Negative Influence

 “Families” comes in all forms, shapes and sizes including in-laws, cousins, children, step children and even business partners who are also best friends. The relationships you have with those in your formal and informal family have a positive or negative impact on the achievement of your business goals and succession vision. Bickering among active and even inactive family members can frustrate, distract and weaken the focus and commitment of the management team that includes you!

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What You Should Know About Successor Identification and Development

Building a business that will continue and succeed through multiple generations requires a focus on successor identification and development. There are six key attributes for evaluating your potential successors: availability, competence, character, commitment, capacity, and community.

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Management Synergy and Teamwork - It Takes a Village

Teamwork is imperative to business succession simply because you cannot do it all.

The call for teamwork extends to your business partners, supporting family members, aspiring successors, key managers, employees, vendors, suppliers, advisors, and of course you as the owner. However, teamwork is not a natural behavior in business, as those involved tend to be competitive, ambitious, aggressive, and want personal recognition. But team dynamics can be taught, supported and ultimately embedded within your company’s culture if all involved are truly dedicated to high quality, high performance and high customer satisfaction.

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Leadership and Management Continuity - Succession is Not a Solo Endeavor

Achieving business success and succession are not solo endeavors. A great deal of your business’ value is locked in the resourcefulness, commitment, enthusiasm and teamwork of your management team.

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Strategic Planning - Why It is Critical to the Succession Planning Process

Succession planning that builds business value requires clearly defined goals and a vision that provides a distinct direction for the future. The presumption of succession and strategic planning is that if you don't know where you want to go, and how you are going to get there, the probability of ending up in the right place is slim to none.

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Business Structuring and How it Can Impact Long-Term Goals

Business structuring deals with the mechanical aspect of how your business operates. The structure of your business has a direct impact upon items such as business taxation, control of business ownership, gift and estate tax on business transfers, and shareholder access to cash flow. As a business owner, it is critical that you or an experienced advisor understands the details relating to corporate structures and agreements between directors, owners, and key managers as they have a significant influence upon your business’ success and longevity.

 

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Personal Financial Planning and Succession - How Are They Related?

 Personal financial planning is fundamental to the succession planning process. This initiative involves using the fruits of your labor to build personal financial security independent of the business. Having a personal financial wealth development and management strategy will provide you with the freedom to consider all viable business exit strategies without being forced into one solely based on your personal financial needs.

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What is Owner Motivation and Perspective and How Does it Impact My Business Goals?

As a business owner, your company ultimately takes on your values and priorities, be that good or bad. Just as your outlook on life sets the tone for how happy and successful you can be, your motivation and perspective with respect to the business establishes the operating direction and performance expectations. Your view frames the values and practices of your business, which in turn impacts profitability, efficiency, enthusiasm, innovation, customer satisfaction, and the sustainability of success. 

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Case Study – No prepared successor and CEO ready to retire

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: Midwest United States

Company Overview: Second generation, family-owned company 

Succession Matrix® Issues: Leadership & Management Continuity, Management Synergy & Teamwork, Successor Preparation, Family Governance


Challenge: The owner is ready to retire, yet no successor is fully ready to take over. Two of his three children are working in the business with the inactive son uncertain about his future involvement with the company. The two active siblings and senior managers are all trying to compete for the opening CEO position.

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Case Study – Misaligned vision between Owner and Management Creating Low Business Performance

Industry: Automotive 

Location: Midwest United States 

Company Overview: Family-Owned Group of Auto Dealerships 

Succession Matrix® Issues: Business Performance, Management Synergy & Teamwork


Challenge: While the owner’s measure of success for each store was based on net return, the store managers were solely focused on gross sales. This misalignment was causing the stores to perform below the planned level of net to sales. Dealerships were also under-performing when it came to gross sales and were receiving only 60% of the manufacturer incentive opportunities.  

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Case Study - Management Synergy and Teamwork's Impact on Business Performance and Succession Goals

Industry: Automotive 

Location: Southeast United States 

Company Overview: Family-Owned Group of Auto Dealerships 

Succession Matrix® Issues: Business Performance, Management Synergy & Teamwork 


Challenge: The General Manager of one of the dealerships was making decisions solely based on what was best for him and his store which was proving to be counterproductive to the overall interest of the company. Dealership was not performing at the level it was capable of.

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We’ve Got This Great Business No One Wants. Now What Do We Do?

For some of us, this is a classic conundrum – you know, a riddle sometimes having no “good” options.  Fortunately, succession planning almost always involves one or more “good” options.  For our purposes, those options include transition of the business to the next generation; sale to employees or to an outside third party; or, liquidation.  The sooner you know which of these makes the most sense for you to follow, the better off everyone will be.

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