Business ownership by nature is risky; succession planning however creates strategies and structure to put you in control.
Lean on the Doc!
If you are having any of the following symptoms, you are not alone:
Worry, fear and anxiety
Loss of control and understanding
Concern for what the future looks like
Apprehension to do anything
Unease about how to move forward
Emotionally, mentally exhausted and confused
These are all normal during times of crisis and transition. Fill out the “Ask the Doc” form to the right with your question, and the Doc will write you back. If you would rather talk it out, let the Doc know and he will connect you with someone on the team. Here are some of the hottest questions being asked right now:
Creating a succession plan that will be followed through with is a team effort involving you, your family and any other business partners. Engage your family in this process and develop an “our,” rather than a “my,” succession plan. To do this you need to show your family/partners the fundamental respect of asking what they want and begin developing a plan around those issues upon which you can progressively find agreement.
By including your family and business partner’s thoughts, feelings, input, and feedback into the succession plan, you will greatly increase the chance that it will be followed when you are no longer around to enforce it.
If you want your family business to survive for the long haul, it is vital to work on your family issues. The simple reason some families seem to navigate tumultuous waters with relative ease is they diligently engage with each other. Connectivity is the key for smooth sailing, no matter what happens. Families who spend time together, develop a great deal of flexibility, are not rigid in their roles and patterns; they generally give each other the benefit of the doubt; and they have developed healthy communication patterns. There really is no magic to it. It’s just plain old hard work.
Succession planning is not about you leaving the business; it’s about building a foundation of success today that will provide the opportunity for future generations. Before making the next purchase or striking the next deal to grow your organization, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have the full support of my management and leadership?
- Do I have the excess capital and resources that growth requires?
- Do I have the confidence that my successors could manage what I’m building in my absence?
The questions surrounding growth can all be answered through succession planning to ensure your growing in the right direction.
I am far from a fortune teller, but I can share that history proves that this too shall pass. We need to be vigilant, patient, and at the same time, motivated to keep things moving forward as much as we can.
Many will say that as soon as the curve flattens out, we will be moving forward. However, we must prepare for some lingering affects which can still impact us in the long-term. It will not be business as usual for a while, but we have to do what we can to lean on our advisors to help us keep moving in the right direction.
Knowing a crisis can hit anytime and as we have seen with COVID-19, very unexpectedly, the best prescription to keep from being here again is to ensure you have a solid strategic and succession plan in place. The strategic planning process can help you define goals which may include crisis prevention/communication, where as your succession plan is all encompassing to help you protect your family, legacy and future of the business.