Where Do You Want To Get To?

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?''That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.'I don't much care where -' said Alice.'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.'- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.”― Lewis Carroll, Alice in WonderlandThis is one of my favorite quotes.  I think it captures exactly the importance of knowing where you want to go.  When I sit down with clients to discuss family business succession planning, one of the first questions I ask is what success looks like to them.  Let’s look out 5, 10, 15, 20 years and what do you see?   To exit successfully, business owners need the following three elements:

  1. A Road Map;

  2. Experienced Guides; and

  3. Implementation.

The initial element of a road map is difficult to create if you don’t have any idea where you want to go.  In coming up with your vision ask yourself:

  1. When do I envision leaving the (or scaling back) my participation in the business?

  2. Who do I believe is best suited to take over management, control, and/or ownership of the business?

  3. How much income do I believe I will need in retirement?

If you can establish a vision of your future, it will help those experienced guides come up with a road map that will give you the best opportunity to reach your desired destination.  If you don’t care where you end-up, I am sure you will get there too – “if only you walk long enough.”