Common myths keep Ohio business owners from creating succession plans

Owning and operating one's own business can be very rewarding. While it is not always a bed of roses, the thrill of calling the shots and being in charge of your own destiny can be quite satisfying. Additionally, as the economy picks up, ownership of a small business in Ohio can also be financially rewarding.

With the busyness of normal day-to-day activities, long-term planning is often put on the backburner; something to do at a later date when you have the time. Unfortunately, this can put you, your business and co-owners, family and employees in a very bad situation should the unexpected occur. An accident or grave illness can strike you or a key employee at any time, throwing a wrench into the smooth workings of your business.

If you do not have a business plan or have not committed your long-term business goals to writing, it is important to do so now. Even if you are just starting a new company , it is important to keep an eye on the future and avoid the myths that keep you from establishing a business succession plan.

Avoid these common myths

No matter the size of your business, it is important to set aside these common myths that may be keeping you from committing a plan to written form:

  • Everyone knows what I want: Failure to communicate your desires for your business is one of the biggest shortcomings to a successful hand-off to the next owner or owners. During the aftermath of an accident or illness, people are less likely to remember what you said.
  • Time is on my side: Circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, taking away the time you thought you had to carefully plan for the future of your business.
  • My children will take over the business: Contrary to many owners' wishes, children or other family members may be unwilling to follow in your footsteps. There may also be concerns about sibling rivalry or dysfunction that make succession to the next generation impractical.
  • I can easily sell my company: Despite the improving economy, quick business sales may be less certain as more baby boomers retire, glutting the market with small businesses. Issues of valuation, goodwill and asset transfer can be quite complicated, making the process less straightforward than simply putting up a "for sale" sign.

These are only a few reasons you may be putting off establishing a written succession plan. There are many issues - both large and small - that may be holding you back, but now is the time to get on with it.

A business lawyer can help

If you own a business in Ohio, it is important to have an experienced legal advisor on your side every step of the way. Consult a business attorney who is knowledgeable about all aspects of business formation, ownership and succession planning in Ohio.