Strategies for Planning Your Legacy

Many business owners think about what will be their legacy and what will they leave behind. Less than 1/3 of family businesses survive into 2nd generation and only 13% into 3rd according to Family Business Succession – The Final Test of Greatness by Craig Aronoff, Stephen McClure and John Ward:

Most leaders who start a business have a passion for the business. They are on a mission to make a difference. As each succeeding generation grows into leadership positions, that initial mission can get lost or lose importance. The strategies may need to change as generations evolve and our world becomes more complex, but the core values that you founded your business on still matter.

Here are some strategies to ensure your legacy:

  1. Document the principles and values you founded the business on. Have you learned any important lessons that would be helpful? Any leadership or business tips, advice? Write it down and share it for your next generations to use as a guide.

  2. Educate your next generation and beyond about investing, budgeting, and getting credit. Train them on how to finance a business, manage cash flow, and make good business decisions. Show them how and more importantly, why! You have been handling money for decades and it may seem like common sense but it is not. If your successors do not know how to properly manage money you can kiss your legacy goodbye!

You have put a lot of time and effort into your business for decades and you deserve to keep your legacy alive. Take out your pen and paper and get to work!