Note from author: What would happen to your business if its owner or a key employee was unable to run it for months, or worse; ever again? Read this true story of how one company survived the sudden death of an owner…
You have a thriving business, and you expect it to support you for life. But what if it all came crashing down around you?
Regardless of whether you want to run it for many years, transfer management so that you can continue to receive an income, or sell it for enough to live on; you’re at risk of losing everything.
Don’t believe me?
Let me tell you the story of one of our clients who thought they had everything under control:
John and Matt were partners who each had a unique set of skills, which they used to run certain parts of the business more effectively. They were both extremely busy so they felt that it was in their best interest to divide and conquer.
I received a call on a Saturday from John. I didn’t really know him from Adam; but his Attorney had told him that I develop systems and processes, so he got on the phone to see if I could help.
He then proceeded to tell me that his partner Matt had been killed in a car accident.
Matt was the younger of the two, and young enough that they hadn’t worried about replacing him in the business any time soon. It was tragic, and it can happen to anybody.
What made it especially difficult for the company was that Matt handled 40% of the accounts and John didn’t know anything about those accounts. In fact, Matt did a lot more than just monitor these accounts, he serviced and managed them from start to finish. When John arrived to work the next day; he had a line of employees at his office wondering what they were supposed to do, and phone calls from concerned customers wondering who was going to take over their accounts and get their projects done.
John didn’t have the answers.
Worried that he would lose key accounts; John asked, “Can you help us?”
“I’ll do my best! Let’s meet and see what we can figure out,” I said.
The truth is, it is a lot harder to create successful operating procedures for a business if you don’t have the input from everyone involved in getting the job done. But I knew without a doubt that unless they documented every step of what their staff does and needed to do to compensate for this tremendous tragedy, that the business would close its doors and put hundreds of people out of work, so I had to try.
We met the following day, along with the majority of their management and administrative staff and started the process of sorting things out. I discovered that there was a lack of communication between many of the employees, management, and departments. In fact, Matt was the key orchestrator of all of the communications between his clients and the employees.
I helped them implement and document processes, procedures, and standards; and create employee training guidelines and strategies to achieve goals.
When we were finished; John asked, “What’s next?”
I asked him what his personal goals were. He said he wanted to be actively out of his job by age 60, so we worked on a plan that would allow him to systemize the business.
By systemizing the business to run without him, John was able to decide whether he wanted to sell the business or continue to receive an income while others managed it.
In the end, John decided to sell the business and received (6x) earnings to live out the remainder of his years comfortably. I stayed on with the company through its transition and still continue to innovate their processes, helping them grow the business substantially.
Because he took action, John was able to survive a situation that many companies cannot. Check out this article from Forbes that details a research study showing that “Many Firms Don’t Survive After Owners Die“.
But there is good news, you can follow the same steps to protect your business! Download our FREE White Paper to learn how you can protect your business from sudden loss of leadership and increase your company valuation by $2,000,000 or more in the process.
Just click on the link above or the image to the left to get your free copy today, or to find out which of the key drivers of your business need your attention in order for your business to run without you, Contact Us via email or at 989-791-2475 for a complimentary assessment.