By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
When clients come to you, uncertain about who will run their business next, you may be tempted to think, “If only they had started sooner.” However, that same sentiment could apply to you.
It’s an old familiar saying: The cobbler’s children have no shoes. Moreover, for someone who makes a living giving advice and guidance about exit strategies, you may be behind the curve yourself. No matter where you are on the business leader continuum, it’s never too early to think about who will run the practice when you are gone.
If you are in a freestanding BV/Lit Support practice (what some call a boutique), the task of pinpointing a successor is a little easier if only because everyone else in your practice is working in the same arena as you are. Even so, if the next person in line is a generation-and-a-half (or more) behind you in age—and, by extension, lacking the requisite experience—you could be forced to bring in a successor from outside your practice. The impact of that on loyal employees can be negative.
If your practice is inside an accounting firm—and depending on the number and caliber of practitioners—the challenge can be greater. The size of the market you are in is another factor in the level of difficulty. It can take longer than you might think to find the right person to come in and lead.
Like your clients, the worst mistake you can make is starting too late. Leverage our two decades of perspective on your profession and get a better handle on your options.