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The Importance of Early Dealer Succession Planning

Not everyone looks forward to retirement. Many people, especially those who are in positions of control, power, and esteem, enjoy going to work every day and really don’t like the thought of puttering around the house or going on cruises for the rest of their lives.

When you own an automobile dealership, you might have your name on giant signs and billboards, little league baseball team uniforms, and on the rear ends of a third of the cars in town. As Mel Brooks said in History of the World, Part I “it’s good to be the king.”

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Ben Franklin

Business Succession Planning is a process that leads to future transfer of management responsibilities, dealership value (owner wealth) and entity voting control. Most optimized plans lead to three transfers being made at different times.

According to studies 70% of business owners will do some form of succession planning. The challenge for the 70% is effective planning. Its is more than naming a franchise agreement dealer successor.  Primary drivers of effective succession planning include starting early, dedicating sufficient time to important matters discovery, preparing the business and stakeholders for the decisions to be made, communication amongst stakeholders and following an intentional process.

Succession planning is one of the most important tasks the controlling owner will ever face, and often involves emotional issues because it may involve family. Why start it early? None of us are guaranteed a long life, and sometimes things happen we don’t want to think about. Succession planning is a process that takes time and if done well creates incremental transferable value by preparing the business for greater success that would not happen without the planning.

Remember that the root of the word succession is success. It’s important that everyone involved in a transfer of ownership put personalities aside and focus on success. We have dealt with situations involving hundreds of different types of skill sets, qualifications, experience, and personalities and we understand the auto industry and the financial consequences of structuring transfer , including tax laws. We are available for a consultation if you want to get started on your succession plan and we can be reached via the below contact information:

5810 78th Street, Suite 300

Bloomington, MN 55439

Bryan Parker cell (612) 294-8730

Office (612) 294-8730

Fax (612) 435-6241