Just yesterday I stumbled upon a staggering statistic which showed that 80% of private business owners are part of my generation, the baby boomers. I have news for you young ones, the last of the baby boomers turned 50 last year, and you know what that means? We ain’t no spring chickens anymore. The baby boomer generation is well and truly heading towards retirement, and the majority of them will exit their businesses over the next 10 – 15 years.
And kid, don’t think that just because you’re a “valued” member of the immediate family, that you’re going to inherit the business. That was back in my day son, and that day is long gone. In your generation, fewer and fewer private business owners are planning to pass their business on to the following generation, in fact lower than 25%.
Us old folks are stubborn and set in our ways, but you already knew that because you’re young and know everything. Heed my advice when I tell you to use a business succession planning company when passing over your business. But as I told you, we’re stubborn, meaning that 70% of us old people have no business exit or succession plans.
A business is like a baby, you grow and nurture it until begins to thrive. After you have a kid, do you only look after it until it’s about five years old and then say goodbye and never see it again? I’m hoping your answer is no, but you just can’t be too sure these days. I’m rambling again, my point is that when you are handing over your baby you have to ensure that it is happy and healthy. You need to be certain that your baby will continue to live in a positive environment where it is able to flourish, and the same applies to your business. Don’t forget to visit your baby either and some parental advice is always welcome and greatly appreciated.
Good succession planning generally takes a lot longer than what most business owners expect. This process can take over ten years in order to ensure that the handover of your company is as smooth and successful as possible. If you’re like me, it might seem like you don’t even have ten years of your life left, but a good business exit strategy is an important investment and a pivotal point in a successful handover.