If you own a privately-held business today, I have two questions for you:
Sadly, according to a recent article in USA Today, for the majority of small business owners, the answer to both is a resounding no:
“58% of small business owners have no succession plan. Most of those with no plan (78%) blamed their lack of planning at least partially on enjoying ‘managing their company too much to start thinking about a future transition’ while 42% said they were too busy to plan, and 44% felt that succession was ‘too far in the future’ to need to establish a plan now.”
This situation is further compounded by this reality as we have discussed before:
“60 percent of the 15 million privately held businesses in the U.S. are owned by business owners born before 1964.”
This means that about nine million businesses will face some sort of decision about the succession of their company over the next 15 years or so. For the 44% of the owners surveyed who felt that succession is too far in the future, it really is not! The future will be here faster than you can imagine.
These statistics are not only a poor reflection on our business community’s attitude towards responsibility; they represent a dilemma that can be completely solved simply by coming up with a plan.
The issue for many business owners is that they have no idea what their options are or what succession plan makes the most sense for their situation.
Far too many business owners assume one of two scenarios will one day occur:
Both of these scenarios have serious issues attached to them.
First, have you even chatted with your kids about succession? Too often business owners who attend our exit planning conferences only do so AFTER being told by their offspring that they have no desire to take over the reins.
This leads into another issue: Are you sure your child has the aptitude and/or ability to be a CEO? It is one thing to work in the mailroom, quite another to make the leap to CEO.
Not to mention the insult that could be felt by key employees who have been with you for decades if you hand the company over to your child as your succession plan.
Finally, both of these scenarios carry a huge financial burden to the departing owner. Most offspring and key employees lack the financial capacity to deliver the maximum value for your business.
Odds are good you will have to carry paper financing the deal, which most likely will pay you out over a 5-year to 10-year period. If the business falters under new leadership, what does that do to your payout?
For these reasons, we highly recommend to business owners that they thoroughly explore a third option for their succession plan: Transferring the business to a third party via a partial or complete sale.
This option is by far more financially lucrative (in most cases) and removes the burden of hoping that offspring or key employees even want to replace you or doubts over whether they’re capable of replacing you.
“Everyone dies and many people retire to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Succession is not an easy topic for a variety of reasons. It's hard to confront your own mortality and not fun to tell a family member or trusted employee that they won't be taking the reins as your replacement. Still, it's selfish and dangerous to not address these issues. The best way to control what happens to your business -- in many cases your life's work -- is to take the proper steps to execute your plan.”
If you find yourself part of the 58% that have no succession plan, then you REALLY need to attend a Generational Equity exit planning conference. These meetings are not only highly educational, but they often give business owners the momentum to begin their exit planning process. This may not even be as clients of ours, but on their own by going home and having frank conversations with family members about the future.
If you have no exit plan or succession plan in place and/or you lack the knowledge about how to even begin, you should consider attending a Generational Equity exit planning meeting. Held throughout North America, these conferences will give you the knowledge base you need to start the journey to achieving maximum value.
To learn more about our conference, use the following links:
By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
© 2018 Generational Equity, LLC All Rights Reserved
The information we learn from customers helps us personalize and continually improve your experience at gencm.com. Here are the types of information we gather.
Information You Give Us: We receive and store any information you enter on our Web site or give us in any other way. We do not sell or rent your personal information to others without your consent. We use the information we collect only for the purposes sending promotional information, enhancing the operation of our site, serving advertisements, for statistical purposes and to administer our systems. We DO NOT use third parties to provide customer service, to serve site content, to serve the advertisements you see on our site, to conduct surveys, to help administer promotional emails, or to administer drawings or contests, but reserve the right to do so in the future without advance notice. Our computer system protects personal information using advanced firewall technology.
Information from Other Sources: For reasons such as improving personalization of our service, we might receive information about you from other sources and add it to our account information.
Generational Capital Markets LLC may license the use of its intellectual property including but not limited to its name, likeness, and logo for the use of affiliated offices. Such affiliated offices may not be owned, controlled, managed, supervised or staffed by employees, officers, or agents of Generational Capital Markets, L.L.C. Affiliated offices may be independently owned and operated. For more information about a particular office, please contact Generational Capital Markets LLC at is office in Dallas, Texas.
This page may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information, the terms of which must be observed and followed.
INFORMATION ON THIS WEB SITE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO THE ABOVE EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
Information on this web site may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information may be changed or updated without notice. Generational Capital Markets may also make improvements and/or changes in the products and/or the programs described in this information at any time without notice.
Generational Capital Markets does not want to receive confidential or proprietary information from you through our web site. Please note that any information or material sent to Generational Capital Markets will be deemed NOT to be confidential. By sending Generational Capital Markets any information or material, you grant Generational Capital Markets an unrestricted, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, display, perform, modify, transmit and distribute those materials or information, and you also agree that Generational Capital Markets is free to use any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques that you send us for any purpose.
Information Generational Capital Markets publishes on the World Wide Web may contain references or cross references to other products, programs and services that are not announced or available in your country. Such references do not imply that Generational Capital Markets intends to announce such products, programs or services in your country. Consult a Generational Capital Markets representative for information regarding the products, programs and services which may be available to you.
Generational Capital Markets makes no representations whatsoever about any other web site which you may access through this one. When you access a non-Generational Capital Markets web site, please understand that it is independent from Generational Capital Markets, and that Generational Capital Markets has no control over the content on that web site. In addition, a link to a non-Generational Capital Markets web site does not mean that Generational Capital Markets endorses or accepts any responsibility for the content, or the use, of such web site. It is up to you to take precautions to ensure that whatever you select for your use is free of such items as viruses, worms, trojan horses and other items of a destructive nature.
IN NO EVENT WILL Generational Capital Markets BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTY OR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR OTHER CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES FOR ANY USE OF THIS WEBSITE, OR ON ANY OTHER HYPERLINKED WEBSITE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY LOST PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF PROGRAMS OR OTHER DATA ON YOUR INFORMATION HANDLING SYSTEM OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF WE ARE EXPRESSLY ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Furthermore, all information contained within this website is the property of Generational Capital Markets.
Honored to win Investment Banking Firm of the Year 2 years running.
Over 50 awards and counting.
Sign up to receive regular email updates, industry-leading insights and details on complimentary M&A executive conferences in your area from our award-winning team
Success, you have been added to our list.