As chairman and CEO at ParenteBeard, I am actively involved with Baker Tilly International, the world’s eighth largest network of independent accounting and business advisory firms, of which we are one. Serving as Chairman of Baker Tilly International’s North American Regional Council and on their international board allows me to travel the world and meet inspiring and innovative business advisors and business owners of all types.
I’ve sat across the table from countless business advisors like myself who relay to me the struggles and triumphs their clients have faced in building their own businesses. Many of their clients have moved on successfully. Others have retired without reaping the benefits of the hard work they put into their companies. Having spent decades guiding our firm’s expansion, I have a profound appreciation for what the success of one’s business and its continuation means to the owner. I know what it takes to keep your business in the Major Leagues both during your tenure and when you retire. Yet from what our partners and I hear, many business owners do not have a formal succession plan in place. In fact, some of the best and brightest have not even given it real thought.
Succession is about outcomes. It’s about guaranteeing a home run and preparing for curveballs. It’s ensuring you get what you want for your business, family and yourself. In the next decade, small businesses and middle market companies worldwide–worth trillions of dollars–will change hands as baby boomers pass their businesses on. I’ve seen it. I understand how this change can vary greatly between businesses and families. The smoothness of this transition depends on the owner’s willingness to plan and plan early.
We here, along with Baker Tilly, are committed to helping our family business and privately held clients plan successfully. Baker Tilly International has launched a succession planning research project that, with the help of business owners around the world, will allow us to understand, then overcome, the obstacles to sound exit planning. We invite you to participate in this landmark research project by taking 15 minutes to complete an online survey to share your knowledge and experience.
Before you know it, your turn at bat will be over and you’ll need to know who will be next to take a swing at running the business. You should have the best statistics to determine who that should be.
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