Sign & Digital Graphics

January '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • January 2017 • 71 his/her dues and does the work of devel- oping business skills and relationships. Do you think that person will accept the other two siblings—who have chosen to pursue other interests, but only dabble in the affairs of the business the parent handed down to them—for example, telling him/her what to do, how to do it, while reminding everyone in the process that "hey, I'm an owner, too"? I don't think so. Scott offers this sage observa- tion: "While many things can be guar- anteed in a successful succession plan, happiness among all family members isn't one of them." Finally, the fact remains, an owner may still be paid—and handsomely, I might add—for fulfilling the role of exec- utive advisor, Chairman of the Board or President Emeritus, all the while avoid- ing the headaches and daily minutiae in the shop and office. Business owners who believe creating a succession plan would strip them of their power and income fail to see the value in building their legacy via the plan. Succession Planning Made Easy When it comes to succession plan- ning, entrepreneurs can easily make mistakes, lose focus or take the wrong path. After all, the process is part science and part art. But if one applies some com- mon sense and adopts a KISS approach, errors can be avoided and owners can take control of the process, rather than the process controlling them. Let's begin with the step-by-step approach touted by the Service Corps of Retired Executives ( SCORE; www.score. org). SCORE is a non-profit association of more than 11,000 volunteers that delivers advice and guidance to busi- ness owners, at little to no cost, and has the backing of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Actually, if you desire to have some face-to-face assistance in developing your succession plan, SCORE is a great way to benefit from a sage volunteer's insight and first-hand experience. SCORE advocates the following five steps to succession planning: 5 STEPS to Succession Planning • Choose your successor • Develop a formal training plan for your successor • Establish a timetable • Prepare yourself for retirement • Install your successor

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