There seems to be a false notion floating around – and we all buy into – that somehow we’re going to get everything in order tomorrow. Tomorrow, when we wake up, it will be the perfect day, where we will have ample time for the planning and legal work needed to minimize risk in the future. We talk a good game, but that’s not what happens. Life is messy and full of distractions.
Today will not go as planned. So what was planned for tomorrow remains undone for yet another day. I’m not referring to mundane tasks. I’m referring to the heavy lifts in business around succession, governance, and transition that most owners just do not want to tackle. There is always tomorrow they say until there’s not.
As a family business owner, it’s critical to understand there are events that will affect the transition of your business. In fact, one out of every two reading this blog will be impacted by an event beyond your control. And if you haven’t run through the checklist to prepare your business, you’re not only putting the business at risk but your family as well.
Think all this is a bit dramatic? Below are REAL situations I’ve witnessed over the years:
Yes, we talk a lot about the 5Ds – Death, Disability, Divorce, Distress, and Disagreement – with good reason. 100% of business owners will exit their business yet only 50% will do it on their terms. The other half is scrambling.
And by the way, a 5D event doesn’t have to happen directly to you to disrupt the business. Think about the fallout if it involved a:
Begin by adopting the mindset of, “my business is always for sale” (and actually, that’s the way it should be).
Working with the mindset that your business is always ready to be sold, means:
All these things will not only make your business successful today but attractive to potential buyers in the future, including internal successors. Ultimately, building a business that’s transferable means that it can run without you and that’s also the best way to survive one of these 5Ds.
Do the right things – the hard things – to position your business for whatever life throws your way. It will be more financially successful, more fun to operate, and better protect those you love.
Life is messy. But the future of the business doesn’t need to be. Make the commitment to tackle just one “what if” today, and check it off your list so it’s done.
Not sure where to start? Contact me and we will walk through the checklist.
BLOG | LEADERSHIP
Product. Team. Customers. Processes. Sales. Revenue. Profit. Cash. These are the elements to any good, viable business. But a family business needs more than just those elements to build a sustainable family business. With many dynamics at play, the business owner needs to understand which "hat" to wear, when to wear it, and when to switch. Do you know how to manage it all?Read More
BLOG | FAMILY DYNAMICS / GOVERNANCE
Running a family business is a lot like any other business. There are sales goals to meet, market trends to monitor, supply chains to navigate, stakeholders’ expectations to manage and people to hire, fire and develop. Pretty much the same… UNTIL you add FAMILY. And then, there are family dynamics to consider as you chart your business's course and build a strong family business.Read More
BLOG | LEADERSHIP
Why do great family businesses improve despite dealing with the same crappy external factors that destroy some businesses and stall others? Because they practice and execute these tenets...Read More
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