Leave a Legacy
Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project. He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.
Time for a Tune-Up
Mar 24, 2009
If it’s good for them, is it good for you?
You recommend it to every customer, every off-season, without fail. Like Christmas carols in December, you, the parts department, service reps and sales staff encourage customers to schedule off-season maintenance. Everyone in your operation promotes the value of a good tune-up. Planned maintenance is always preferred over unexpected breakdowns. We all know that pre-spring repairs mitigate mid-season meltdowns.
And, as my friend Howard Wickham is fond of saying, “We learn bad habits in good times and good habits in bad…” So, whether it’s a seasonal slowdown, or a big swing of the economic pendulum, now may be the perfect time to review your succession intentions. This interval between the boom and bust cycles of business may provide the perfect excuse to engage in an engrossing, albeit necessary, process. Economic challenges are a way of life. The pendulum always swings from one extreme to the other. If there is anything we know, it’s that good times are ahead, and the longer and the deeper the downturn the farther and faster the rise.
Are you ready? Is the operation ready? Do you have the right back-up plan and are your plans well communicated? A solid succession plan is the foundation for lasting success. It positions the operation for growth and development, and establishes the basis for multigenerational success. We like to say, a succession plan is the instruction book for dream fulfillment. For most family business owners, succession planning is a practical matter motivated by a desire to ensure the family’s financial security, retain family ownership and/or create a family legacy.
We’re in the process of developing a new assessment tool. It’s designed to help you evaluate your succession objectives and evaluate the measures you may consider to achieve your goals. Like the tools in your shop, this assessment is part of a diagnostic process that offers real insight.
Take a few moments to sample the questions...
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