As most business owners will attest to, starting and running a business involves a combination of conviction/passion, perseverance, stress and personal sacrifice. Owners invest a significant amount of themselves and capital into running these businesses, and as a result, most have a substantial portion of their net worth tied up in their business. The vast majority of owners/founders we've worked with here at Succession Resource Group have communicated that their business is not just a valuable asset, but their most valuable asset. So, why do so few owners have an answer for their key stakeholders about when they will retire from their business and who will succeed them? Because the common myths of succession planning give them a sense that they can or should be dealing with this topic tomorrow (in the proverbial sense). Here are the most common myths that our clients come to us with that hold owners back from effectively tackling this important topic:
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What would happen to your business, your clients and the value of the company, if something where to happen to you suddenly? Do you have a plan and systems in place to ensure your business will carry on until you return? Or, a plan to ensure the business continues under someone else’s leadership if you cannot return?
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To start with, let's define the term "Continuity Planning."
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At some point in your career as a small business owner, you will find yourself either needing or wanting a partner (I use the term "partner" in the loosest sense of the term). Whether it is for the purposes of adding/retaining talent, expanding your business and talent pool, sharing expenses, or building a succession/exit plan, finding someone to partner with in serving your clients is essential for businesses to survive for multiple generations.
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What is a contingency plan?
A contingency plan is an agreement between two or more advisors designed to protect your business in case of your death, disability (temporary or permanent), loss of license, and possibly even retirement (although most plans do not deal with succession planning). There are a variety of plan types to solve for these issues: