Business Succession Plans

A skilled facilitator with a deep understanding of the dynamics of the family business can help you avoid the assumptions and miscommunications that can threaten family harmony and the long-term viability of your business.Make Things Happen can help you set up the structures and create plans that will prepare you, your family and your business for your eventual exit.We believe the true starting point should be your needs and those of your spouse.

Our goal is to ensure that your interests, your family’s interests and the business’ interests are equally well served, and to make you a more sophisticated — and efficient — consumer of the other professional services you will require as you prepare to exit your business.

The process comprises seven steps, each involving an exploration of several key questions.

Typically, family business owners consult with a variety of professionals in developing their succession plans — lawyers, accountants, bankers, financial planners, insurance advisors, merger and acquisition consultants and management consultants.

Too often, these professionals find it difficult to proceed because their client has yet to make a number of personal and family decisions that will drive the planning process.

There may be a different succession planning strategy if the owner died unexpectedly versus the owner deciding to retire.

The owner should consult with professionals in the field such as accountants and lawyers to fully explore all of the options available in transferring the business to another person or entity.The small business owner should also consider salary and benefit increases when the grooming begins that includes increases as more responsibility is gained within the organization.Partial ownership can also be transferred at certain times as objectives are reached if the small business owner desires.The successor should have a written plan that can be followed and should know the milestones upon which they will be evaluated.Open communication within succession planning is important to the success of the task.Using words like "process” and "step” implies a prescribed order for your investigations.In fact, any of a number of situations can bring you to succession planning, so you can enter the process at any "step” along the way.Succession planning is the process of pinpointing key needs for leadership and intellectual talent throughout the organization over time and preparing individuals for present and future work responsibilities.In a family business succession planning involves: …each at the individual, family and business levels.The training plan should be written and may include aspects such as shadowing, additional education and working with professional consultants.Throughout the process, the small business owner as well as the successor should evaluate the progress that is being made.

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