Many small businesses and family businesses face a challenge when the senior owner desires to scale back and the junior owners want to play a larger role in the day-to-day operations. Often the junior owners are resentful because they are working harder to build a business which is owned in large part by the more senior owner. The senior owner is resentful because he feels pushed aside by the junior owners.
As a result, any succession planning must provide a clear exit strategy for the senior owner and a clear transition for the junior owners. Whether this is accomplished through ownership transfers, buy/sell agreements, testamentary transfers, or a combination of all of the above, depends on the individual circumstances of the business at issue.
In succession planning, the worst thing to do is not plan at all. While it may be difficult and create conflicts, failure to do anything will result in increased tensions among senior and junior owners and could jeopardize the viability of the business moving forward.
As your business manuvers through the sensitive issues of succession planning, let us guide you through the process to acheive the desired goals of all owners.
ANNE M. MULCAHY
"One of the things we often miss in succession planning is that it should be gradual and thoughtful, with lots of sharing of information and knowledge and perspective, so that it is almost a non-event when it happens"
JOSIAH GILBERT HOLLAND