Acknowledging Blind Spots: Are You Truly Prepared to Take Over the Business?
No matter how many times you’ve driven a car, you still have blind spots. As an experienced driver, you know to check for blind spots when changing lanes or pulling out of your driveway. Taking over your family business is no different. Even if you’ve been working in your family business since you were young, you have blind spots.
You may have the confidence, the experience and a willingness to take risks, but the transition experience is still new for you. As you begin to change lanes in your company and become the next President or leader, are you checking your blind spots?
Here are some examples of common blind spots:
Are you operationally ready?
You are likely comfortable working in the business and you know the ins and outs of every department. But are you comfortable working on the business?
- Do you understand operations such as payroll and invoicing?
- How well do you know the members of your team? How can they help you succeed?
- Do you have a reliable leadership team to collaborate with?
- Are you educated on the history of the business and any problem areas that have been issues in the past?
Are you financially ready?
Whether you are being gifted the business or purchasing the business from your predecessors, there are still many financial elements to consider.
- Do you have a trusted financial advisor to ask questions?
- Do you thoroughly understand the financials of the company?
- Do you have or need credit?
- Do you know what assets, if any, you will have to guarantee?
- Are you and your family ready to make this financial commitment?
Are you emotionally ready?
In addition to the financial and operational intricacies of taking over the business, it’s important not to overlook the emotional aspects.
- Do you have mentors that you can call on for guidance?
- Do you have support from your peers, such as a Forum group?
- Are you ready to make this commitment to the business?
- Is your family ready to make this commitment to the business?
- Have you had open communication with your fellow leaders in the business?
- Have you had open communication with your family members?
As we so often say at CFBC: you don’t know what you don’t know. Remember that the transition experience is new, unknown territory. While there are many logistical steps to navigate, it is also an emotional time for all involved. Don’t forget that you have blind spots. Be sure to check them and seek support from your advisors, mentors and Forum group.