Current Issue
Published on March 2, 1998

WILL YOUR FIRM SURVIVE?

You'd think succession planning would be easy: Just decide what you want to do with your business and then do it. But in reality, it takes a lot of careful thought and planning to make the proper decision whether to sell outright or pass on the company to your offspring.

Beyond the nuts and bolts of succession planning are the thorny emotional issues, which often pose an obstacle for tire dealers and others seeking a future for their family-owned companies after they themselves relinquish control.

But, difficult or not, planning for the transition of your company's ownership—and leadership—is too important to be put off. Statistics from our Family Business special report in this issue indicate:

More than half of all family-owned businesses have no formal succession plan; and

Forty percent of the owners of the fastest-growing U.S. companies have no estate plan at all.

No wonder seven out of 10 family businesses don't survive into the second generation.

Why don't more dealerships have a succession plan?

Perhaps the day-to-day demands of running a business prevent many owners from hammering one out.

Some may be reluctant to give up control.

Others can't decide which of their children will head the operation when the next generation takes over.

Nevertheless, family business owners have a responsibility to provide for the future of their companies.

If you haven't already done so, we hope our special section will persuade you to begin creating a succession plan for your business—thereby limiting the risk that it won't survive into the next generation.

Whether you want to sell out or pass your company on to family members, obtaining good professional help is key to determining your options and deciding on which is the best method of transferring ownership.

Formulating a succession plan will be one of the most important business decisions you make. The members of your family and your employees are counting on you to act wisely.

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