You, the business owner, are a risk taker that is accustomed to getting things done onRead Further
You know your business better than anyone else. Think about where it is going and what it needs to get there. Perhaps you’ve plateaued, with similar advertising, earnings, and service offerings for many years. If you seek innovation and growth, new leadership can make it a reality.
Consider the role new leadership might play, and how you can prepare them for the next steps.
Prepare the next crop of leaders by helping embed them in their business. This is the best way to support them to understand how your business operates. A shadowing program can work wonders for future leaders. Future leaders should watch you do the things you’re best at, so that they understand why your strategies work so well. The goal here is for the person shadowing you to observe all the tiny interactions, decisions, and adjustments you make to successfully run the business you have built.
Younger leaders may not be as focused on the legacy of the business as you are. They seek new opportunities, and Millennials in particular rarely think about that which came before them. This understandably can cause some friction. But a little communication goes a long way. Acknowledge the new leadership team’s desire for changes. Talk also about the company’s history and mission, and why they matter to you.
Consider seller financing. It became increasingly popular in the wake of the economic downturn, when buyers struggled to get loans to purchase businesses. Seller financing allows you to be paid over time. It also ensures your continued involvement. This can support a smooth leadership transition that assures customers, clients, vendors, and your staff.
No matter what role you plan to play in the business upon stepping aside, you must let the new leaders find their own footing. Don’t micromanage. Don’t question every decision they make. They don’t have to do things exactly as you did to succeed. Indeed, one of the ways your business may thrive is by embracing new approaches to old problems.
You can always offer advice based on hard-won wisdom. At some point, though, you must quit trying to be the driver. Wait for the new leaders to seek your wise counsel, and then supply only that which you think they must know to run the business.
Prior to purchasing IBEX, Chuck Harvey spent 35 years as CEO, CFO and consultant to the Fortune 500, Middle Market, Mainstreet and in the Start-up community, including spending time at PepsiCo & Price Waterhouse Coopers. During that time, Chuck oversaw three dozen buy-side / sell-side transactions on three continents, including a $35M sale of a Texas digital photography pioneer to a $1 Billion Japanese conglomerate.
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Photographer: DSC_0458 https://www.flickr.com/photos/btckeychain/9510887345/
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