Family Business Succession Planning Best Practices


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Since 1973, The Rawls Group has been passionate about helping business owners achieve their business succession goals. Nationally recognized, The Rawls Group specializes in addressing the issues that impact the continued success of a business legacy. By partnering with our clients and their other advisors, we work to develop a plan that will perpetuate the leadership, culture, performance, and relationships that are key to business success.

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Family Business Succession Planning Best Practices

  1. 1. Family Business Succession Planning Best Practices The Rawls Group ~ Business Succession Planning Tools 8 Best Practices for Achieving Succession Success™ 1. RESPECT THE SUCCESSION MATRIX® a. Acknowledge and engage in addressing that impact business longevity and value beyond Wills, Trusts, and Buy-Sell Agreements such as:  Owner Motivation & Perspective  Personal Financial Planning  Business Structuring  Business Performance  Strategic Planning  Leadership & Management Continuity  Successor Preparation  Management Synergy & Teamwork  Family Governance  Family Dynamics b. Dedicate your efforts to addressing the entire matrix, as it will build business value and fuel the engine for a resilient and sustainable business for future generations. 2. LEAD a. Lead by example - you are the role model and everyone is watching. b. Consistently communicate and reaffirm your vision, mission and core values. c. Invest time, energy and money developing committed family members and individuals who have distinguished themselves. d. Consider utilizing tools to provide consistent feedback and identify coaching opportunities. 3. GROW FAMILY a. Identify and affirm those (blood and non-blood) who are a part of your business for reasons other than money; they choose to buy into your vision and to pursue their passion with you. b. Accept the motivations and gifts of your family. c. Establish a Family Business Council to keep family informed. Build a culture of trust and respect. d. Empower your managers and demonstrate your dependence upon them. 4. BUILD YOUR SUCCESSION BRIDGE® a. Identify successor without precondition of bloodline. b. Prepare and deploy a Successor Development Curriculum. c. Ensure aspiring family members do not report to other family members. d. Document a Contingency Succession Bridge® in the event of a catastrophe such as an unexpected death.
  2. 2. The Rawls Group – Family Business Succession Planning Tools Page 1 of 2 8 Best Practices for Achieving Succession Success™ 5. DEVELOP AND COMMUNICATE AN EXIT STRATEGY a. Acknowledge that your exit is inevitable and take control by engaging in communication and planning. b. Establish and respect a reasonable time-line (3-7 years) c. Progressively transfer responsibilityto test your identified successor in the leadership chair. d. Establish an Outside Board of Directors that provides a forum for your involvement and, if necessary, control after your withdrawal from day-to-day operations. 6. CREATE A PERFORMANCE CULTURE a. Develop SMART goals. b. Clearly communicate performance benchmarks. c. Align position descriptions with performance metrics. d. Inspect what you expect. e. Don’t tolerate mediocrity first in yourself and then in others. 7. MAKE NO SUCCESSION ASSUMPTIONS a. Recognize that you cannot do it all: Achieving Succession is a team challenge requiring a coordinated effort from multiple professional disciplines. b. Encourage teamwork: Neither teamwork nor family are natural behaviors, just like achieving success, you must work and be dedicated to positive growth and business succession. c. Recognize that succession planning is not a project; it is a process that is impacted by changing factors outside of your control. 8. BE THE BEACON OF OPTIMISM a. Profess the Succession Planning Credo: “The difficult we do right away and the impossible takes a little time.” b. Be thankful daily for those who share your vision and passion. c. Celebrate the successes of your team members. d. Speak in terms of “when,” not “if.” e. Accept failure as a great opportunity to learn, revamp, confirm a better course of action and get it done. f. Profess that success is not perfection but the expectation of doing more right than wrong.