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Succession Planning = Business Planning

Business planning is an integral part of the Succession Planning process.  I was reminded of this when I read about a local lumber supply company closing its doors after 155 years of service.  Curious if this was now a common phenomenon for retail lumber yards, a quick internet search revealed five closing announcements since February.  All of them were family owned and, on average, been in business for 90+ years.  One common theme for these closing was competition from big-box national chains. This is where a good Succession Plan comes into play.

Governance Policies: A Family Constitution

Imagine our country without a Constitution.  Our founding fathers had the foresight to codify a basic framework of beliefs and laws in the form of the Constitution of the United States.   Our Constitution continues to provide structure and unite us even in these times. Every family owned business should take inspiration

Overcoming Barriers to Succession Planning

Family businesses are on the threshold of a historic transition.  As of a 2007 study, the median age of top executives in family businesses was 50 years old and 40% of them expected to retire by 2017.  Baby Boomer owners are relinquishing the reins of their companies. So you would expect businesses everywhere to have succession plans in place or to be deep into the planning process.  Yet,

Succession Planning Done Right: Disney Style

People flock to Disney films for the entertaining comedy and drama. The process for picking Disney next CEO seems downright boring in comparison! And that’s the way it should be. Based on the New York Times’ (NYT) article Disney Tackles Succession, This Time Without Drama, Disney’s current CEO Robert Igor appears to be addressing the planning process for his succession with abundant prudence and foresight.  The article reports

Business Longevity Insurance (Part 2)

In a previous blog, I pointed out how Succession Plans are insurance for when the unexpected results in the business owner’s absence. The most common response to this I hear from business owners is: “Yes, but that’s not likely to happen to me.” While that may or may not be true, owners also need to ask themselves: “Can my business and my family afford the consequences if the unexpected happens?” Others’ experiences and the research provide a clear answer.

Miles Davis’ Lessons on Leadership

Miles Davis’ cantankerous personality is legendary. That is why I was pleasantly surprised to hear what his drummer, Jimmy Cobb, had to say about Miles’ leadership style. Mr. Cobb, the only surviving member of the sextet that created the groundbreaking Kind of Blue, was interviewed about the making of this album on BBC’s Witness. Here are some of the lessons from Mile’s leadership style that I gleaned from this interview.

Business Longevity Insurance: Succession Plans

You have insurance to protect your business in case of fire, theft, and accident. So, why would you leave the future of your business to chance? That is what you are doing if you do not have an up-to-date Succession Plan. I have too often talked to business owners who are ready to cash out but cannot because they do not have anyone prepared to takeover or could not get the price they were expecting for their business. This article shows how a well thought out Succession Plan addresses these issues and much more. Employee Retention: According to a PricewaterhouseCooper study, voluntary turnover is on the rise and even higher for

  • Building a Solid Foundation for the Family Business Building a Solid Foundation for the Family Business

    Building a Solid Foundation for the Family Business

Building a Solid Foundation for the Family Business

Family businesses deserve to be pleased with their accomplishments.  After all, according to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek family-owned businesses are responsible for 60% of all employment in the U.S., 78% of all new employment and add 50% to the national gross domestic product.  The SBA points out that 90% of all businesses in the U.S. are family-owned.  Family businesses are the foundation of our country’s economy. The question is: How solid is the foundation of each, individual family business?

What is a “Strategic Marketing Review” & Why would I ever need one?

I recently googled “strategic review” and was surprisingly pleased with the clear, concise definition I found on Strategic Planning Kit for Dummies’  website: “A strategy review monitors progress of the company from a strategic level, making sure that the objectives are on track.”  Paraphrasing the same source and putting it a marketing context, this differs from an operational review which looks at details of the marketing plan such as return on marketing dollars spent, message you are communicating and methods used to deliver that message. Don’t get me wrong.  A quality review of marketing should be a top-down process

By |October 25th, 2013|Marketing|0 Comments

The Small Business Forum: Meeting Format

  “One of the toughest things about starting a business is the feeling of loneliness and isolation.   Here are some ways to burst through the loneliness:  Join peer business group; Build a trusted team; Plan regular networking lunches.” Adapted from Martin Zwilling  on

By |January 3rd, 2013||Comments Off on The Small Business Forum: Meeting Format