There are many factors to look at these days when making solid business decisions. The baby boomer business owners are reaching retirement age and who will be their successors? The Pew Research Center indicates that the oldest of America’s baby boomer generation started turning 65 on January 1, 2011, at a rate of 10,000 people a day. This trend will last for the next 19 years. If you are one of the four million Baby Boomer business owners who have shaped business today, don’t let poor planning of your exit be what people remember most about your business legacy.
Your departure is one of the most significant aspects of how you’ll be remembered by employees, peers, and your industry. As a business owner, it’s important to take some time and consider your company’s stage, as well as your own. The best advice I can offer is to develop a plan, and then identify both individuals within the company and outside professionals to help you execute that plan. This will be invaluable for you, your business, and your employees when you are ready for the next stage.
Facilitate mentorship between older and younger employees to capture and transfer skills and experience. Create a work environment that allows for individuality, inclusion and flexibility to balance work and life demands. Have a succession a plan not only for your leadership roles but also for your most critical positions. Identify the jobs that have the greatest impact on your mission or strategy and teach millennial employees how their work fits into a bigger picture.
Determine what this exit will look like and when you want it to happen. Hopefully, giving yourself enough time to put everything into motion. Whether it be executed by a family takeover, leveraged buyout, employee buyout, or a merger, working out the details early on will make for a much smoother transition and lifestyle change suitable for all concerned.