It’s an interesting question. How do you know? It was a question my youngest son would ask me following my explaining something that I hoped his toddler mind could grasp. He would nod approvingly, look at me with those big eyes and ask, “How do you know?” I never took it as a challenge; it was a request to learn more. So how did I know and more importantly, how do you know?
Not that talk. The talk about you and the business you own. Like it or not, one day you will leave your business. Planning for it is something many are uncomfortable with. Some never do, and that can not only cost them a great deal of money, but it can also cause a great deal of pain for their survivors. Yes, your survivors; I know a business this happened to, a 50-something business owner who one day simply fell over and died. When everything regarding his estate was completed, the family also lost the business. This was all because there was no plan for what happened when the owner no longer worked in the business. That may seem like an extreme, but it happened. I knew the family personally, and the idea of transition planning was something they didn’t want to discuss. They should have.
It seems to be every business’s goal. They want to be an employer of choice. They seek designation for it as if the term somehow makes them better than their competition. Some simply declare themselves as such while others pursue some local designation or one of the many “Best Places to work for <insert category here>.” What exactly is an employer of choice? Is it the right designation or focus for a business, or, is there a different way?
Our current struggles finding good people to perform the work we have is getting in the way of business success. New business is being declined, existing business is taking longer to perform and waste, and error is increasing. In short, the absence of a quality workforce is getting in the way of our productivity, profitability, and improving shareholder value. How can we fix our workforce shortage? What can we do to improve our workforce culture by turning it into a workforce culture of excellence?
As I say on the cover of my ebook about Business Exit planning, “It’s Inevitable, One Day You Will Leave Your Business.” That stark and indisputable reality will face every one of us who own a business. We cannot prevent it; we cannot slow it down, it will happen. However, what we can do is not only prepare for that, we can also help ensure that our personal needs are taken care of and that whatever legacy we want our business to have is considered and prepared for.