Editor's Note: Here’s an excerpt from Succession Planning: Step-by-Step. Go here to read more.
A sound dealership succession plan addresses a long list of issues, including retirement income, transferring wealth to the dealer’s heirs, transferring ownership, dealing with the income and estate tax consequences associated with an ownership transfer, and addressing other issues key to the ongoing success of the business; not the least of which (and often forgotten) is transitioning management.
Here are steps to develop a succession plan for your dealership.
Step 1: Identify and prioritize goals for the transition.
Step 2: Identify and prepare new management.
Step 3: Determine retirement cash needs
Step 4: Review options for funding the transfer
Step 5: Planning for Ownership Succession
Step 6: Identifying Options for Transferring Ownership
Step 7: Integrate Succession & Estate Planning
Step 8: Develop an Implementation Strategy
Step 9: Design a Contingency Plan
Step 10: Monitor & Adjust the Plan
Succession planning should be part of the dealership’s strategic plan, but it is also a dynamic process that needs adjusting based on the dealer’s changing goals and life circumstances. The frequency of review varies, but we recommend at least an annual review. Changes in the owner’s personal life along with changes in tax laws, economic conditions and even in manufacturers’ sales and service agreements can create the need to redefine goals and adjust the succession plan.