Don't Let Your Business Be Held Back By An Outdated Plan
Covid-19 impacted you, your business, your family, and your friends in some way. How many plans were forced to change, were delayed, or outright dismissed in the last 18 months? Have you found yourself frustrated, confused, anxious, stressed, or bewildered?
The pandemic has caused our professional and personal lives to be in constant flux, bringing the continuous dynamic of change to the forefront. Feelings, perspectives, attitudes, and goals can change at a drop of a dime.
Let me share a real-life and personal example. When I was 25 I wanted a career that didn't involve much travel because I believed this would better enable me to meet someone special and someday start a family. That decision 15 years ago set the path for where I am today. If I could go back and talk to my 25-year-old self, I would let her know that I would be contemplating that decision later in life. However, if I change today, I question its impacts on our business. For example, I may choose to move into an entirely different role and focus on a career path that motivates me more, or that I think I could excel at more. I question things like who would/could fill my position? What would the transition look like? How can the institutional knowledge be transferred to someone else? All of these are distractions from daily operations. Our organization has depended upon me in this role, and it would be a shock to the operating system to see me in a different light.
So consider where you were 18-20 months ago before the Covid chaos started. Could you have envisioned where you and your business would be today? Perhaps there are things you recognize you were not prepared for or something you would want to do differently. You may or may not have had a "plan" but likely were not actively engaged in planning. Suppose you haven't spent quality time with your advisors in the last three months discussing the impacts of change in areas such as:
- Changes in family make-up or feelings about the business
- Your feelings
- Key leadership bench strength
- Supply chain
- Strategic Plan
- Federal and state policy changes
If so, you have an outdated plan and will likely find yourself on your heels when the next fork in the road appears.
A plan is a snapshot in time. For me, had I been actively planning, I could have recalibrated my professional goals mid-stream and probably be at a different place today. Your environment requires a team of tactically, strategically trained, and experienced advisors proactively examining the landscape and bringing forward potential detours and opportunities.
It’s important to anticipate what changes in daily environments could impact your business, personal lifestyle, people, and family. Watch out for these warnings:
- Your key managers say they are happy but keep asking about ownership.
- You’re building the bridge as you need it.
- You want to grow but do not know how, where, how big, or who would operate.
- You are continually surprised at the deals sold under your nose.
- Your attorney and accountant are as old as you.
- Your family, key managers, the franchisor, or franchisees (if you are the franchisor) keep asking questions and you continue to convey that you are finalizing the details and will discuss your plans soon.
- There are family issues, but we don't talk about them; they will figure it out when I'm gone
- You own most of the stock.
These seemingly benign items can have a significant impact on the value and sustainability of your business. The multi-unit franchisee business is a complex and fast-moving environment and more operating units means more people count on you for their livelihoods. This requires actively engaging in planning with a team of skilled advisors.
Although there may be comfort in the status quo, there is no security. Getting stuck challenging yourself with questions puts your family and all those who have a vested interest in your continued success at risk. Just as your business has changed during your career, the issues impacting the ongoing success of your business and family are changing. As a result, you have a rapidly changing business and family environment with hazards and countless opportunities.
Do you know if your vision is held back by a plan? Are you wondering if you have considered all the possible, probable, potential issues impacting your business in our changing environment? Want to check yourself? Take 10 minutes to complete our free, no-obligation assessment and see where you and your business stand. https://seekingsuccession.com/assessment/
Kendall Rawls knows and understands the challenges that impact the success of an entrepreneurial owned business. Her unique perspective comes not only from her educational background but, more importantly, from her experience as a second-generation family member employee of The Rawls Group - Business Succession Planners. For more information, visit www.rawlsgroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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