Sometimes The Hardest Questions Are The Most Important
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
OK, obviously this isn’t an easy question to answer and it’s possible that you have absolutely no clue what you would like your legacy to look like. After all, this isn’t an overly common question. Oftentimes, people never even consider it until it’s too late. But I hope, by simply pondering this question today, you will be able to identify a path that makes sense personally and professionally tomorrow – theoretically speaking, of course.
When we speak about legacy, from the perspective of succession planning, what we are asking is for you to consider how you would like your loved ones, friends, employees and the business community as a whole to remember you after your retirement or death. While this subject may make you uncomfortable, your response can actually help you see your company from a whole new light, which can help you identify better ways to manage your business. Those who start thinking about their legacy sooner rather than later find that when they have considered these questions, regardless of how uncomfortable they may be, are poised to be better, more effective business owners and leaders.
Listen to episode 116, “Your Baby (Business) Is All Grown Up … So What’s Next?” on our award-winning podcast, unsuitable on Rea Radio, to learn more about the value of succession planning.
Consider the following statements? Do you find that you gravitate to any of these points?
- I want my child(ren) to finish what I started and I would like them to pass the torch to their children as well.
- I would love to see my employees own this business either through an ESOP or a sale to specific employees. I would love to see them prosper and carry on the legacy I started.
- Securing top dollar for my business is most important to me and the new owner of the business can do whatever they please with that business once I leave.
Like I said, nobody ever said answering this question would be easy, but making a point to consider your legacy early in your career will help you manage your business in a way that’s consistent with your vision of what the company will look like after you’re gone.
The legacy you hope to leave behind will become the foundation of your succession plan and your business valuation team will use this plan to help you work toward a business exit plan that aligns with the goals and values that are important to you.
When it comes to identifying your ideal legacy and the plan to help make your vision a reality, the best place to start is with a conversation. Contact a member of Rea’s valuation and transaction advisory services team today to speak to a succession planning expert about your next steps.
By Paul Weisinger, CPA/ABV, CVA, CEPA (Cleveland office)