In his book Flash Foresight, Daniel Burrus points out that supply has never caught up with the generational demands of the baby boomer generation. Despite obvious signs that the U.S. was on the cusp of an unprecedented birthing boom as World War II ended, maternity wards, schools, desired family housing, etc. all represented shortages as society struggled to keep pace with this booming generation. As this generation matures, 10,000 baby boomers per day will turn 65 in the period 2010-2030. Like maternity wards and schools in the 1940’s and 1950’s, there may also be a shortage of managers to run and/or capital to buy the private business interests controlled by this aging generation as they reach their retirement years. Like so many phases of the baby boomer generational march, evidence is mounting that these business owners are behind the curve in preparing their business for a transition to the next generation.
So why is it that so many business owners are behind the curve? We have observed a major contributing factor while working with business owner clients. In many cases, an individual will go through a succession/sale process once in his or her life. Like other once in a lifetime events, there is a one step forward and two steps back process that unfolds. Many owners lack a realistic understanding of all that is involved in the timing, preparation, and execution of a successful succession plan. At the same time, these owners are often very busy working in their business instead of on their business, resulting in a failure to devote adequate time to the time-consuming succession process.
Personally, I enjoy sharing coaching experiences and skills developed over many years as a manager in three industries and as a basketball coach to help educate and provide guidance on the succession/sale process. Through this blog, we will introduce readers to a personalized succession blueprint we utilize when working on an ideal state succession with a private business owner. We will also share stories in an effort to highlight best practices that can lead to success and point out some practices that have not been helpful in moving succession efforts along. We hope you will join us on this journey as we post new content. In our next blog post, look for a discussion about the starting point of getting on the path to creating a successful personalized blueprint for your business and your life after your business.
In the meantime, if you would like to participate in a survey that provides an orientation to the aspects of an overall succession plan and gives you the opportunity to self-assess your progress, please fill out the attached link with your contact information and we will include you in our upcoming survey.