Many business owners lean on the DIY approach to strategic planning, integrating family into the business, succession planning, and positioning their business for sale on the open market.  Where entrepreneurs are sharp in many ways, without outside help, they often suffer from being able to see the trees from the forest, which is the difference between hitting the nail on the head and missing the nail altogether.

In this episode, Doug Woosnam, a consultant with Cetane Associates, shares that the DIY approach goes back to the fact that owners are entrepreneurial people who have made all the decisions.  Generally, they have done them very well within their scope of expertise.  However, that doesn’t always lead to success, and it highlights the need for professionals

If you want to sell the business, it is naive to think you can decide one day and put the company on the market the next day.  Whatever you do, it is essential to have a plan; and know what you want.  For example, If you considering selling, WHY?  Is it the cash, industry too tricky, or no successor?  If you don’t want to sell, there are ways to strategize around your issues.  But if you want to sell, it still requires a strategy and plans to position your business to maximize your life’s work.

Clayton Latiolais with The Rawls Group advises starting at the 3,000-foot strategic level and working toward achieving three key objectives.  He often sees owners getting caught up in the day-to-day weeds versus looking over the horizon towards the future.

Planning is a buzzword that often gets stuck in a business owner’s head.  Marty Kirshner, Partner with Gray, Gray, and Gray, shares that having an idea is great, but an idea doesn’t turn into a strategy until it is put to paper; discussed with advisors to identify pros and cons and provide creative problem-solving to achieve the vision.

One of the biggest misconceptions of business owners is they think they have it done.  Champ Rawls with The Rawls Group shares he has heard numerous times, “I got that agreement with my partner, we will figure it out,” and then a $500,000.00 litigation suit arises with your partner, and the attorneys are the only ones winning.

Leaning on an expert’s insight means getting the team around you that can help you, which is essential to growing, transitioning successfully, or selling at the highest possible multiple.

For more insight:

Visit the “Create Control Over Your Future” discussion page or select one of the additional episodes of the series below:


  • Cetane Associates: a unique group of fuel industry specialists armed with assets and proprietary processes that help them perform wonders for their clients
  • Gray, Gray, and Gray:  With 77 years of experience working with fuel oil and propane marketers and convenience store owners, Gray, Gray & Gray has established a reputation as the energy industry’s leading accounting, consulting, and business advisory firm.
  • Succession Readiness Survey:  A 7-minute investment in time will put you in an informed position of opportunities many business owners overlook, impacting business value, growth, and lifestyle, and ultimately achieving your vision.
  • Contact a Succession Planner: The Rawls Group can help you with insights and 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 immediately.

The Succession Planning Matrix

Many people put off succession planning because they think it means retirement, exit, and the end. However; succession planning is just the beginning. It gives the owner options in terms of what “their next” looks like, whether that be growth, philanthropy, or a new business venture. Our process focuses are addressing 10 key areas of what we call the Succession

Click the following link for more drill-down resources on The Succession Matrix, or check out our Facebook post.

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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.