Succession Planning ImportantPosted 6/25/2004
By Geralynn Kottschade, AAM, Chairman
Permit me to offer a few words of advice: As a responsible business owner, you would be wise to take some time - right now - to consider your future and the future of your business. Having recently lost my father, and experiencing all that such a loss entails, I can't stress enough the importance of having your life in order and being prepared for the inevitable.
My father lived his life as if he had a sense of debt. He wanted to give back to the community, church and veterans. He was always involved in one thing or another. I inherited my passion for the industry from him; he wanted all of his children to be involved in something. He felt it was important that we would find ways to give back, to keep busy and informed. He also believed in strong family unity. We as children always came first, now our children come first. When dad's health started to fail, and being in his 80s he recognized his time on earth was coming to an end, he made it very clear to Mother, and a few of us, what his wishes would be. A funeral had been prepaid, obituary written, songs chosen.
Little will make you examine your own life more than dealing with death. Loss at any level can be quite difficult, but the more prepared you are, the easier it will be when you or others must face a situation like this.
Have you considered what will happen to your business when you retire? What steps have you taken to protect loved ones in the event of your death? Have you prepared your business to endure tragedy? Of course, you have insurance to cover your building, contents and liabilities. But could you temporarily replace your profit and meet payroll and other expenses after a loss? Having a succession plan in place for the variety of challenges you or your business could face is a key element to your ability to move forward after an untimely event.
It sounds like a cliche, but today is the time to prepare for tomorrow.
The Automotive Management Institute offers two courses by Mike Henning that address succession planning. In addition, AMI is about to launch a new self-study program titled "Guide for Business Growth and Succession Planning," which will thoroughly cover the material contained in both of Henning's courses. (To learn more, visit www.AMIonline.org.) Or perhaps you need to pay a visit to your insurance representative to ensure the continuation of your business, and to protect those you wish to protect.
Whatever you need to do, do it. This topic could be an article by itself - and may be revisited in a future edition of AutoInc. But today, right now, I hope you'll give careful consideration to the potential risks that threaten the survival of your business; the obvious and the not so obvious.
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