Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It Doesn't Need To Be That Way

“Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.”
- American saying

“The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.”
- Scottish proverb

“Clogs to clogs.”
- A Lancashire proverb from the 1600s

“Rice patty to rice patty.”
- Asian proverb

 “Father, founder of the company, son rich, and grandson poor.”
- Mexican saying (translated)

Across generations and across cultures, the sentiment is the same: family businesses and family wealth don’t make it into the third and fourth generations.  Statistics on family business only reinforce the adages: only 12% of family businesses will continue operating into the third generation and only 3% of family businesses will continue into the fourth generation.  It doesn’t need to be that way.

            Every business faces challenges to successful, long term operations.  For the countless strengths and opportunities giving family businesses a competitive advantage, business families face unique challenges in setting up the business and the family to be successful for generations to come.  There is no magic checklist or fill-in-the blank formula, but there are things business families can do:

·      All family members participate in defining the core values for the family and the business
·      Create an environment of open, clear, and direct communication
·      Develop clear policies and business norms for family members
·      Clearly define the roles and responsibilities in the business
·      Have a plan, in writing, for the transition of the business to the next generation
·      Establish a fair and equitable exit strategy for those not interested in the business
·      Help each family member internalize the vision for the family and the business

            Involving all family members in addressing these issues can help improve the odds of success for future generations and nurturing the family legacy. 

            It’s not too late to get started. 

SKM Associates

advising and supporting Families in Business as they build their legacy

235 Yoder Road • Harleysville, PA 19438 • 215-256-5997

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Are You Ready To Exit Your Business

By 2017, it is estimated that 40.3 percent of family business owners expect to retire, creating a significant transition of ownership in the US. Less than half of those expecting to retire in five years have selected a successor                                             http://www.massmutual.com/mmfg/pdf/afbs.pdf

Mental Readiness
1.     I have a specific, written plan as to when I would like to exit my business and move to the next phase of my life.
2.     I am becoming bored or tired or feel physically stressed with the daily operations of my business and do not feel the same sense of positive energy or enthusiasm I once had.
3.     I have a specific, written plan as to how I will productively spend my time when I am no longer running the business.
4.     I am excited about the changes and opportunities that await me outside of running the business on a day-to-day basis.
5.     I am ready to move on to my next adventure that does not include the business.
6.     Considering my current feelings about the business, running this business for another 3- 5 years seems like an eternity.
7.     I have coasted the last few years to avoid the aggravation and work needed for business growth.
8.     I am confident in my ability to transition my current responsibilities in the company to the people I have prepared for future ownership and leadership.
9.     My vacation time and time away for the business has been increasing each year and when away, it is easier for me to not ‘check-in’.
10.  I have a good understanding of the legal and tax implications for a business transition and I am ready for these aspects.

Financial Readiness
1.     I have a specific, written plan for how I would invest the cash I would receive upon my exit of the business.
2.     There are qualified professional advisors in my life that help in developing my future financial plan.
3.     The value of my business is a large / critical part of my future financial security.
4.     I know my anticipated life style and have adequate liquid assets to offset any loss of personal benefits I have received while in the business.
5.     My business value is less than one-half of my total net worth.
6.     There is a specific written plan to turn my business holdings into cash for my retirement.
7.     Excluding Social Security, I have sources of income to fund at least one-half of the needs for the lifestyle I desire to live when I leave the business.
8.     For the last 5 – 10 years I have saved at least 15% of my annual income.
9.     I have completed the legal documents and purchased insurance products to provide for my family in the event of an unexpected or catastrophic event in my life.
10.  I have begun to execute my plan to eliminate any personal debt in the next 3 – 5 years.