In this Expert Insight Interview, Steven Goodman discusses business succession and succession planning. Steven Goodman is the President and CEO of SHG Planning and an estate planning and business-succession specialist.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The reasons why people avoid succession planning
- The emotional and personal implications related to business succession
- How to get around these difficulties and deal with the problem anyway
Focusing on the Present
Many people know what succession planning is, and most would agree that it is a good thing, but unfortunately, not enough people actually do it. There are a couple of big reasons for this.
Firstly, people who own businesses are constantly putting out fires, and they focus on what’s important today. Every day they wake up with ten things they have to deal with, and for them, it is tough to pull away from that and focus on the future.
The second big reason has to do with the fact that succession can be a very difficult emotional decision in family businesses. Most parents spend their lives doing everything they can to show their kids equal amounts of love and attention. However, in the matter of business succession, things are not that simple.
Suppose you had three kids, and only one of them was involved in your business, while the other two decided to forge their paths in other careers. It can be exceedingly difficult to choose how you would divide your business between them. Giving them each a third of the company would likely lead to disaster, as two of them know nothing about it while giving it all to one child could cause trouble on a personal level.
Avoidance Is Not the Answer
Obviously, avoidance is never a very good strategy, so people should be looking at succession planning even in the problematic scenarios outlined above. These are difficult decisions to make, but we’ve seen throughout history that many businesses have collapsed once the original driver exited the scene.
To deal with this problem, it is best to have someone who allocates some time exclusively to managing your business’ succession and keep the ball rolling. Also, you’ll need a team of advisors whose egos won’t get in the way of achieving the best results for you and your family.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.