How to Position Your Middle Market Company to Last for Generations
Some entrepreneurs start their businesses with dreams of eventually selling to a larger company, enjoying the payout as part of their retirement or using it to fund their next venture. Other business leaders dream of something longer lasting – a business that will live beyond them and last for generations to come. Seeing that dream come to fruition requires a different mindset and skillset than a “sell and move on” exit strategy. If you envision your middle market business lasting for generations, here are some things to consider in today’s business environment.
First generation business owners, particularly leading family businesses, have a tendency to keep some information close to their vest. Unfortunately, that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when passing a company on to the next generation. Focusing on transparency early, well before a major transition is imminent, is one of the wisest things a business leader can do. The organization as a whole benefits from improved knowledge transfer and the ability to catch challenges before they become problems.
Prepare for the generational shift
We are about to witness one of the most powerful shifts in business ownership to occur in recent history. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) represent close to 75 million people in the United States today. About 4 million Baby Boomers leave the workforce each year. This is a major concern for business leaders, considering Boomers make up a quarter of the country’s workforce and many hold leadership positions. The businesses that continue to thrive through this period will be the ones that are deliberate in connecting across generations. If your organization is primarily made up of one generation, proactively seeking a wider variety of employees and perspectives is a great place to start.
Fix anything that is broken now
As you begin to increase transparency in your organization and prepare for the coming generational shift, it is likely that you have or will identify weak points… areas in your organization that require improvement. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is putting off those corrections. Organizations that last for multiple generations are organizations that have learned to be resilient and are skilled at evolving well. Start now.
If your dream for your company is longevity, we have experience that can help. Our team assists Middle Market companies strategically assess their options and prepare for big transitions. Please contact us for a confidential discussion about how we can help you.