What Will Your Legacy Be?
Even if you eat, sleep, and breathe your business, it exists separately from you. And you can’t run it forever. At some point, there’s an exit. Hopefully it won’t involve you keeling over at your desk, mid-conference call.
You’ll have a personal legacy, but your business will also have a legacy. What do you want that to look like? Are you working toward acquisition? Some other sort of sale or merger? Are you looking to pass things on to a successor? How much of a say do you want to have after you’re no longer running day-to-day operations?
You might feel like you’re a long way from stepping aside. Perhaps you’ve left it up to fate, figuring that if you can sell for an adequate multiplier someday, you’ll sell—otherwise you’ll let someone else take over. But what’s “adequate”? And who would take over?
We urge you to be active in your legacy planning. Think through real possibilities, and anchor it with real numbers. Where you want to end up will go a long way toward dictating the decisions you make today. You don’t have to have all the answers. Ask for help.
A good CFO can help provide direction and guidance, but you’ll have to take into account whether or not your CFO can be objective—does he or she hopes to be your successor? It might be worth soliciting objective, third-party input. We can help.
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