Hello, Community! Thanks for joining me here in the Business Discussion space. Today, I'm switching gears a bit to talk about a topic that hit somewhat close to home. A little back story, a family member of mine previously worked at a local mapping business. The moral of this post is to share the experience he had with the owner of the company.
The owner is close to retirement but ultimately failed to communicate their future plans for the business once they were no longer working. The lack of planning and communication for the future of the business caused a lot of undo stress, unfortunate rumors about what would happen to the company, and even more unfortunately - long-term employees leaving, like my family member did. That sounds like a sad story, but that's not the picture I want to paint. I'm sharing this story to help you prepare and think about the future with a few options and pros and cons for each. So, if you're a business owner approaching retirement here are a few things to consider:
Sell the business Pros: the business is out of your hands completely. You no longer have the responsibility of small business ownership and can enjoy retirement. Cons: your employees may feel abandoned. The new ownercould potentially "undo" your hard work and company reputation. New ownership can also mean increased attrition, whether it be voluntarily by veteran works or new management bringing in new employees.
Promote from within (probably my favorite option) Pros: your employees will feel a sense of loyalty, appreciation, and value. Choosing a new owner from within the business shows your workers that you trust them with most likely your lifelong dream and project. Cons: you may still find yourself receiving calls and questions about running the business.
Close the business Pros: similar to the first option, you're no longer responsible for the business. Cons: your employees are left stranded, especially if you don't relay your plan in a timely manner. Your company reputation could potentially wither away over time.
I believe that this topic is often forgotten or maybe even put off until the last minute. I hope this post has prompted you as a business owner to always plan for your endeavors, even well into the future. What other pros and cons do you think could be added to the options listed above? Maybe you're a retired business owner who has been through the "passing of the torch." We'd love to hear your expertise in this territory that's uncharted for most. Have a great rest of your week!