In This Episode

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”  If you’ve ever seen the movie Dirty Dancing, then you can picture the scene with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.  Well we’ve heard versions of this line with the same emotion and passion.  But instead of talking about corners the business owner is talking about “Don’t push me out of my company!”  We see it all the time with sports as well.  Maybe you’ve seen an aging athlete on your favorite team not quite ready to give it up yet.

Many business owners can feel like they are being pushed out of the company they own.  Even if you’re just bringing up the idea of who’s going to step into the owner’s shoes when she’s ready to hang things up.  So how do you bring it up to dad that it’s time to start making plans to step away from the business?

The short answer is it’s usually best if the owner brings it up first.  If you’re not that fortunate, maybe start with something a little less direct like sharing an article or book on the topic.  Perhaps you’re on an email list of someone sharing an upcoming seminar on the topic.  Better yet, maybe there’s a TV show or movie you find entertaining, insightful and perhaps an easier way to broach the topic.  Ever seen the HBO series Succession?  We could all learn a thing or two from that show and those characters.

The point is, someone has to get the discussion started with the business owner.    Maybe ask the question of what they are going to do when they leave the company?  Sometimes it’s as simple as that and the floodgates open.  Keep in mind, the owner is likely thinking about it as well and they might not be sure how to bring it up.  It is after all the first, and likely only time, that the business owner will be transitioning her baby (i.e. the business).

During the show today we share lots of other great tips for not only how to get the conversation started, but also help make sure the conversations continue.  We also provided some insights into what the current owner is likely thinking about and how to approach the owner on this topic.  Keep in mind these business transition things usually take a while.  Several years or perhaps decades, so tread lightly and be patient!


People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show

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Join us next week when we chat about how to figure out what your competitor’s business is worth!