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 | FAMILY DYNAMICS / GOVERNANCE
I’ve had my share of family business owners who avoid discussing this four-letter word to the point of pure denial, quickly ending the conversation when this word bubbles up. The word? E-X-I-T. It sounds so final. The brutal truth is that 100% of owners exit the business, yet only 50% – just 1 out of 2 owners – will do it on their terms...Read More
BLOG | LEADERSHIP
Many family-led companies hire business consultants to grow the business. Some even send their emerging leaders to personal development programs. But there is a gap – and it’s a BIG one.Read More
BLOG | PEOPLE / TALENT
The Golden 5% is the full expression of our ability, multiplied by our maximum possible effort, multiplied by our full contribution of heart. It is the performance equivalent of what we offer in a deeply loving relationship – the absolute best of ourselves. And yet, we rarely give it or reliably inspire the giving of it by others in organizations. Why?Read More
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