The Perfect Succession Plan

Laptop and glass of lemon juice on beach table

There was a time not long ago when I considering retirement. As an entrepreneur, the question is always, “how can I step away from the business and be assured that my clients are taken care of and my legacy and cash flow are preserved?” For most practitioners, the first thought is to sell the practice to an established firm that is large enough to absorb your practice and can provide the same high-quality services that your clients are accustomed to.

In a best-case scenario, the successor firm can also retain your dedicated staff members that have been loyal to you and your clients. However, in reality this rarely happens. A second, but least likely scenario is that you have groomed a staff member or better yet an off-spring that is ready to step up and take the reins. Unfortunately, in most cases, our children want no part of the business after seeing us toil for so many years and senior staff would prefer having a guaranteed paycheck rather than take on all the responsibilities of ownership.

I have great news! There is a solution at hand that I discovered by happenstance. Without boring you with all the details of my epiphany, I will give some credit to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad-Poor Dad. In his book The Cash Flow Quadrant, Robert discusses the process of transitioning from self-employment (S) to becoming a business (B) or an investor (I). However, the epiphany came when I realized that my small accounting practice could be transitioned to a perpetual business while still maintaining the look and feel of a small local firm where clients receive personal attention. The use of technology has allowed me to enjoy the fruits of my labor now rather than later while increasing revenue, lowering overhead and acquiring and starting other business ventures. I still have my struggles, but I’m learning, growing and having more fun than ever.

As a result, I feel the need to share this model with other practitioners. Why retire when you can give up the day-to-day grind, continue to maintain client relationships and enhance your bottom line? I get into the nuts and bolts in a future blog. Stay tuned!