Excerpts from 50 Hurdles: Business Transition Simplified

The following excerpts are taken from our book 50 Hurdles: Business Transition Simplified. Read one or more of them to develop an informed view of whether our book is “right for” you if:

  • you are an owner or potential owner of a family business
  • you are an advisor to owners of family businesses.


50 Hurdles increases your chances of succeeding in family business transition planning

50 Hurdles: Business Transition Simplified“If you are part of a family business, 50 Hurdles endeavors to capture information you need to know that will help you improve your ability to assess the transition of your business and increase your chances to succeed in that. This is the case whether your unique family business transition is a generational one or whether it culminates in the sale of your family business. If you advise business families and family businesses, this book is a tool to help you do that.”

50 Hurdles delves into fundamental family business transition planning – and business value – issues

50 Hurdles: Business Transition Simplified
50 Hurdles delves into fundamental business – and business value – issues. It explains why family business owners should constantly strategize and plan for the sale of their business to an arm’s length, preferably strategic, purchaser – and why doing that is complementary to, not in conflict with, working toward generational business transition.”

The importance of corporate governance to successful family business transition planning

50 Hurdles: Business Transition Simplified
“But all too often those businesses lack good corporate governance and are driven by imbalances between emotion and logic not conducive to good commerce. In some cases, this imbalance means allowing family members with entitled attitudes to participate in family business management. In other cases, it means the family promotes or allows wrong-headed nepotism. Such practices and others like them typically result in debilitating and time-wasting family disagreements and poorer business results than might otherwise be achieved.”

Example of “takeaway summary” found at the end of each Chapter

Business Succession Planning

“Important Takeaways from This Chapter

  1. Having strong, objective, emotionally balanced senior family members in each successive generation is critical to the success of generational business transition.
  2. Business ownership interests will be disposed of by current owners either during their lifetime by choice or circumstance, or at death through their will or decisions by others.
  3. Owners dictate the quality of family business corporate governance and, through the board, delegate the management of their golden goose.”
  4. plus 6 more important takeaways in this chapter


The importance of advisory boards to successful family business transition planning

Business Succession Advisory Board“An advisory board may enable family business owners to gain valuable advice from experienced arm’s length people who are not prepared to function as company directors. A good advisory board can supplement owner, director and management knowledge of globalization, financial markets, industry activity and conditions, industry knowledge and contacts, strategic and business planning, finance, marketing and sales, human resources, operations, acquisitions, international business and business sale – including identification of and contact with possible strategic purchasers.”

Importance of understanding business valuation principles and concepts in successful family business transition planning

Business Succession Planning“Seven important business valuation fundamentals you and your business family members need to understand are as follows:

  1. The value of your business at any given time is the best available ongoing measurement of your business’s success or failure.
  2. The value of your business is continually changing as factors both external and internal to your business change.”
  3. plus 5 more important business valuation fundamentals


Strategic business purchaser synergies

Business Transition“There are many types of potential post-acquisition synergies that may be available to third-party purchasers. These may include the purchaser’s ability to do the following:

  1. Better exploit the products and services of the acquired company through the purchaser’s marketing, sales and distribution channels
  2. Combine distribution systems
  3. Consolidate facilities and other overhead reductions”
  4. plus 18 more possible post-acquisition synergies


Characteristics common to those who succeed in family business transition planning

Business Succession Planning“In our observation, families who have enjoyed business transition success consistently have a number of common characteristics:

  1. They are willing to make ongoing hard family decisions that result in individual family members not all being treated the same in the context of the family business – particularly in the management of the business.
  2. They appreciate the importance of family harmony, both among themselves and as viewed by non-family employees and their communities. As a result they work hard to reconcile any differences internally within the family.”
  3. plus 10 more common characteristics that lead to family business planning success


Common theme in family business disputes

50 Hurdles: Business Transition Simplified
“Be assured … private company shareholder disputes, particularly where family members are involved, can be far more acrimonious than public company shareholder disputes.”