Dan.Iosue_239x239v2.pngIndustry:

Manufacturing: large-scale screen printing for tourist industry attractions.

Company Overview:

Dad and Mom founded the company over forty years ago out of a single store-front tee shirt printing business in rural Central Florida.  As a first-generation business, the family persevered through many boom and bust cycles within their industry.  Dad and Mom are in their early seventies and their two middle-aged children, have worked in the business for over twenty years.  Daughter in sales and Son in operations.

Both Dad and Mom felt that Daughter could run the business in Dad’s absence.  However, they expressed doubt about her willingness because of her remote work location and thought it unpractical because of client demands on her as sales director.  Operationally, the Son appeared the logical option, but they had significant concerns about his leadership capability and his commitment to developing the leadership skills he currently lacked.  Under these circumstances, neither Dad nor Mom wanted to choose one child over the other in fear of disrupting family harmony.

Selling the business to a third party appeared to be the easy way out. The family engaged with us after contemplating selling out to a third-party.  Exploratory conversations with an M&A firm confirmed a much less valuation then anticipated and affirmed their need of a succession plan to add value.  In the meantime, business was increasingly losing business to overseas competitors, and to complicate matters, Dad was showing signs of declining mental health.  The family decided they needed a plan and they hired us to help.

Challenge:

  • Develop a plan to improve business profitability and increase value.
  • Develop plan to protect family harmony.
  • Determine a plan to maximize the Son’s leadership involvement in the company and ideally set this up so that the Son and Daughter can work effectively together in the business.
  • Develop a plan for Dad’s continued involvement in the company for as long as he desires.
  • Consider strategic plan for business development – new biz dev vs relationship mgmt.
  • Strategic plan for growth
  • Strategic planning for adopting change.

Critical Question: 

What do daughter and son want for the future of the business and how do they envision it happening?

Actions Taken: 

  • Development of Son and Daughter’s Joint Vision for company
  • Leveraged ProScan and Thomas Kilman Index tools to increase awareness about personal communication and conflict style as well as each other’s to enhance communication and collaboration
  • Communicate son and daughter’s joint vision to Mom and Dad for approval.
  • Work with Son and Daughter to implement vision.
  • Create Management Advisory Board (MAB) to incorporate Key Leaders into organizational management, strategic planning and business succession planning.
  • Drive Joint Vision for growth through Management Advisory Board for vertical and horizontal alignment.

Results: 

  • Son and Daughter aligned on future of organization and working together to achieve vision.
  • Dad and Mom have affirmed Joint Vision and are actively participating in implementation.
  • Provided strategic foundation for MAB direction.
  • Launching point for Covenants, to clearly communicate and align personal and management expectations of siblings into the future
  • Increased family’s belief in “process not project”.

The Succession Matrix

Preparing a business to transition from one generation to another requires focus on 10 key areas which we call the Succession Matrix.  Click the following link for more drill down resources on The Succession Matrix

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay informed on how to overcome related succession planning issues.


Contact us and we can help you with insights, other resources, and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas you can apply to your business right away.