Family Business Planning - begin with the end in mind

SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIC PLANNING

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Family businesses have a unique dynamic. In addition to daily business concerns, owners and employees have to navigate personal relationships, which can make decision making a challenge. But before strategic planning can happen effectively, each key decision maker - from owners to board members to key employees - need to agree on a clear and united vision for the company's future. With personal feelings and, often, conflicting personal goals in play, how can you make that happen?

The key is to get each stakeholder to clearly articulate the personal goals they have related to the family business. It is not unusual to have one owner who wishes to retire, one who wishes to find an exit strategy out of the business and another who wishes to pass the business onto their children. Once you have full disclosure of what each owner envisions for their own future, you can begin to reconcile those goals into a clear vision for the company.

Read more about family business strategic planning in the fall issues of Michigan Family Business magazine.