Does the House Always Have to Win?
In roulette, the table odds are set so the house, the casino, wins more than 90% of the time when the ball rolls. This means that with each spin, you have less than a 10% chance of winning. Your betting strategies may change, but the reality is that this will not put you ahead of the odds, and you’ll likely find that the risk was not worth the reward.
Take this concept, and apply it to your business, the life you’ve worked so hard to build. Years, often decades of diligence, yet you put its future to this same level of chance if you haven’t thought through how it’s going to live on after you are no longer steering the ship.
The reality is that it’s very possible to take control of the change your company inevitably faces and manage the inherent risks through Ownership Conversion Planning.
We like to advise our clients with the following guidelines:
Don’t wait too long. Ownership Conversion seems like an easy item to push down the list, often because it implies you won’t be around for potentially unforeseeable reasons. You’ve got plenty of time, no need to think about something that might be complicated, right? That may be true, you may have time, but as a leader, you’ve constructed a successful organization by leaving as little to chance as possible. So why not use those same skills and that same level of discipline to create as little doubt and risk as possible in your company’s next chapter. By doing so, you’ll create peace of mind for yourself, your employees and your family; and you’ll better stabilize your business’ trajectory of success.
Get serious, but, moreover, get realistic. In my book, I discuss realism as it pertains to planning for your Ownership Conversion. As a business owner, you likely have a few different scenarios in mind as to how you might scale back your time at the office over the next several years. But Ownership Conversion takes time and planning, and the later your start, the more you risk having to compromise your ideal outcomes. Think about it: Over time, as your vision solidifies, what good is it if you haven’t put it down on paper, so that others can work alongside you to help you realize your vision? Which leads me to my final point.
Build trust and communication with key leadership. Odds are you’ve built a successful business by building a great team. Once you start an Ownership Conversion discussion and plan, communicate it with a few key executives you feel have long-term potential and viability, those you trust to take on the small and big picture thinking your operation requires. With transparency, these key executives will become the allies you need to provide for a successful transition… one that will make your designed destination a reality.
The house doesn’t have to win.
With a bit of planning, you can control your future and maximize the value of the business you’ve worked so hard to build and enrich.