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“I have worked with a lot of family businesses, some of them producing millions of dollars a year in revenue and supporting many family members as well as employing a good number of people in the community,” says Kyle Golding, CEO and Chief Strategic Idealist for The Golding Group, a strategy, business process and communication integration think tank, so he knows through helping others that not having a plan could lead to failure.
“I come from a farming family, so I also know firsthand what happens when the head of a family business is no longer part of that business,” he said. “Without a plan in place, the business has a huge potential to suffer or fail.” That failure can cost a lot of people their jobs and affect the community as well. But a well-developed succession plan can create a much higher likelihood of the business continuing on successfully.
A succession plan helps transition a business to others for when the business owner is ready to leave the business – retirement, disability or an unexpected event such as serious illness or death. Whatever the reason, every business owner should have a plan in place to not only help transition the business but also help take full advantage of the value of the business. While vital, Golding said succession planning doesn’t have to be complicated.
“The process of adding succession planning, within a family or not, is not a complicated process for an operating business with a business plan, standard operating procedures and a defined structure in place,” he said. “In this scenario, succession planning is an extension of the current structure. For a small business or startup, there would be more work building the succession planning into the other necessary strategic planning.
“Just like your insurance policy, succession planning and crisis management protocols are essential (items) you need to have in place but hope you never need to use”.
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