Why your mantra every day should be The Business is for Sale.

Is your business for sale every day?

The statistics of family business transition success (or lack thereof) are well known: Just 33% make it to the second generation, and only 5% make it to the third.  Rags to riches to rags.
 
Many family owners think legacy is about maintaining the ‘business’ for future generations.  But this thinking is probably the #1 reason family businesses don’t survive.  The purpose of the business is to create wealth, not jobs for the family.  If the business isn’t generating profits and leadership is not focused on creating business value, a slow death commences, eroding the foundation of the business, until suddenly, all the value is gone and family wealth dissipated.
 
The goal isn’t to have a business that survives generations, but to have wealth that survives numerous generations.  This is a true legacy.
 
Tom Deans, author of Every Family’s Business, is a leading authority on family business transition.  He states that successful families don’t ‘fall in love with the family business, they fall in love with business’.  Deans has developed a blueprint to help families focus on protecting family wealth and creating successful generational transitions.
 
The blueprint is essentially, “The business is for sale every day.”  To make this work, the Senior Generation and Next Gen need to frank conversations at least once a year about where they see the business going, a review of the markets, if either party is interested in selling or buying stock, etc…. Having a blueprint to facilitate the crucial conversations – those conversations where the stakes are high, opinions vary, and the stakes are high – is a key to family business and family success.