Age Out OR Sell Out? – Part 1

So do entrepreneurs really retire? Or do they drop dead in the middle of making another business deal? If you’re over 55 and you own a small business, do you “age out or sell out?”

CIBC World Markets unveils today, results of yet another analysis of Small Business Canada to put us in the financial “Panic Room” over the news that Canada’s aging small business owners will in significant numbers, retire over the next decade, and transfer their business legacy to … whom, exactly?

This issue of “legacy” is an interesting one. Depending on the size and nature of the small businesses to be analyzed, the matter of “Age Out OR Sell Out?” has always been there for the entrepreneurial or family run enterprise. Some owners by nature would rather die with their boots on than retire.

As for succession planning within the family (like from father to daughter), well I’ve seen enough cases to know that it can be as hard a sell as trying to attract a stranger to buy the business. Stubborn nature? Is that an entrepreneurial trait? How about being a goal setter and visionary? Or how about developing trusting relationships? It’s often been said that family owned businesses are notorious for not taking outside advice or consult.

More comment later on specifics coming out of the CIBC report, AND should we wait for CAFE – (Canadian Association of Family Enterprise) for their response? Meanwhile stay tuned to the other financial panic room story – the Financial Cliff.

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