What to do before you move on
14 November 2016
I recently stumbled across a publication discussing the thorny subject of succession planning. Its certainly a departure from the current talk surrounding Brexit, registration numbers and the threat from Internet retailers. And Id wager its a subject that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
My impression – and feel free to correct me if Im wrong – is that large auto retailers have this issue nailed down. I would hope that, if you have a responsibility to shareholders, theres a clear plan somewhere safe. If not, then whatever youre paying your financial advisors is probably too much.
What got me thinking was how a smaller, family owned retailer would cope if something unfortunate happened to the dealer principle. Theres also the issue of what to do when retirement looms; who do you pass the business on to? Naturally, that assumes theres a family member or business partner willing to offer some semblance of continuity.
Its a big responsibility running any business these days, and doubly so when you factor in the needs of your staff. What will happen to them if you sell up or, maybe reluctantly, shutter the business? Along with talking to siblings, it might be worth having that chat with staff members well in advance of any disruption or uncertainty to allay fears and boost loyalty.
Experts have had a rough time of late, what with dodgy election and economic forecasting, but theres no shortage of valuable knowledge on the subject of succession planning. The issue isnt unique to the auto retail business, but failing to plan ahead now could ruin livelihoods and reputations.
Auto Retail Network