Family Business Succession: Three Basic Steps

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When a family business passes to the next generation it is likely going to fail. At least that’s what the statistics indicate. To beat the odds, planning and forethought are needed to create a clearly defined family business succession plan. One that will succeed.

Without this, the momentum of the family business can be lost, causing it to fail despite its recent or current success. Though transferring the ownership of a family business to a new generation of successors can be ...

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Reduce the Risk of Business Growth

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By taking on the the mindset of Ulysses S. Grant, you can reduce the risk of business growth and increase the likelihood of success. 

It’s hard to grow a business. Most attempts fail. At times, miserably.

As a result, we tend to avoid or at least minimize our risks when creating strategies for business growth; holding tightly onto the tried and true. Even when the “tried and true” starts losing its luster.

One of our clients owned a company in a mature industry. ...

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Family Business Succession: Hidden Costs

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The Cost of Doing Nothing

Putting the Business of Family at Risk

It is not unusual to for the owner of a family owned business to have a hard time with succession planning. In fact, are usually started then tabled due to the many issues that suddenly come to the front. When this happens, the most common response is “denial.” Sadly, substantive succession planning may be put on hold until some sort of crisis – either in the owner’s family ...

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Business Innovation and Growth

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In a recent Price Waterhouse survey, CEOs were asked how they intended to grow their companies. More than one-third will do so through a strategy of business innovation.

Reading this, I wasn’t surprised. Since returning to its creative roots Apple, for example, has grown to become one of the world’s largest companies. And Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, had gained more than 100 million active users in less years, prompting Facebook to buy them out for $1 billion!

Although we admire these ...

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The Risks to Business Growth

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Most owners want their business to grow. In fact many defend their desire by quoting the “grow or die” myth; the belief that a business has to grow in order to stay relevant. It’s not true. In fact, the opposite might be the case as the truth is, there are risks to business growth.

If you have a successful company – one that is consistently profitable – an aggressive growth strategy can kill it. By stating this, I’m not denying the ...

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Reducing the Risk of an Employee Buyout

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Here’s one of the “dirty little secrets” of selling a business: In most cases the efforts will fail.

When teaching on business succession I introduce the “35-20-7 Rule”: only 35% of all companies reviewed by mergers and acquisition professionals are viable for sale, only 20% of all companies listed will actually sell, and as a result of these only 7% of all businesses will actually be sold as an ongoing venture.

Others have called me an optimist.

Why is this important? Because more ...

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Helping Good Companies Grow

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An answer to “why good companies need” help

I was talking to Sammie Johnson, the marketing director for Montana’s award winning newspaper, the Flathead Beacon and account executive at the Beacon’s sister company, Flathead Beacon Creative. She is helping with our website updates and in the process has asked me some question.

Actually, Sammi asks a lot of questions. She’s like that. It helps her understand our firm; ...

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Start Here: The First Step in the Business Succession Journey – What Do You Want … Really?

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Business succession is a journey that begins with a clear goal. 

I “shred.” Not well. Not a lot. And if I am honest I have to admit that compared to most of the kids on the bunny-hill I look sort of like a clumsy yeti on skis.

Still, after a twenty-year gap I agreed to go with my son to Schweitzer Mountain in North Idaho and re-learn the art of skiing.
I signed up for a private lesson with Kurt ...

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Motorcycle Diaries: Observations on Business Growth

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My wife and I enjoy going on long motorcycle trips. Not rides. Trips.

One summer we decided to go to go on a long round trip that took us through Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Riding three thousand miles over a period of several days gave me time to think. And observe. And to pick up a few lessons that I’ve shared with clients when helping them with their business growth: some that may be beneficial to you.

1. Create the unexpected

We ...

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Two Steps in a Successful Turnaround

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Any business leader can get their company in trouble. Even when he or she is the owner. Or maybe I should say, “Especially” when he or she is the owner.

In most surveys, turnaround specialists identify “poor management” is a leading cause of a company’s decline. After weeks or months or even years of denial, the existing leadership – unable or unwilling to admit to the worsening situation – may need to be replaced for the business to recover.

Let’s be honest: ...

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