In May 2015 in Orlando, I got to meet Marie Wagner. Marie’s family business was experiencing declining revenues while losing key clients, mostly because the business wasn’t evolving as customers’ needs evolve.
Marie’s mother, Gloria, is headstrong and believes her way has worked for 25 years and there’s no need to change now.
I asked Marie, “Have you and your mother ever discussed her handing over the reins to you?”
She said, “We sat down about eight years ago and outlined a plan but we just haven’t made it a priority to stick to the plan.”
Marie went on to say, “As things have continued to get more stressful Mom kept saying, ‘We don’t have time to think about all that right now.'”
That’s the whole point of this story.
Creating a good succession plan might be like harvesting grapes and making wine.
There is a time where the grape and the vine are ripe and then there can become a time when the grapes get hard and the wine, if you make it, is going to be sour.
Many times a good outside resource can help hold you all accountable to keeping your original plan on track, or help you make a plan.
If you’re reading this article, I have to think you are contemplating your plan.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. It’s hard to turn vinegar into good wine.
Every business has a season. Every CEO and founder has their season. If you let us help you create a well timed plan, you’ll get to mentor and advise the next generation while savoring something special you and the family harvested.
If you wait too long you may be dealing with sour grapes.
Timing is everything. Start sooner and have someone help you stick to the plan.
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Certified Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of Peak Workout Business Coaching and the Family Business Performance Center. Check out Coach Pete’s free tools: the Family Business Landmine Detection Map and the Family Business Survival Kit. He can be reached at email@example.com.