Planning for the succession of your funeral home or cemetery business is one of the hottest topics within our profession. It is a process that takes time and dedication to complete. We were recently asked about the process and if it is something that requires a business consultant. John T. McQueen, CFSP uses his own experience to provide insight on this important question.
Question: Do I need a business consultant to help with my succession plan?
John T. McQueen, CFSP: At a point in your career, you will find yourself in a unique position, caught between sense of duty and sense of family. You have spent a lifetime serving others and building or continuing your family’s legacy in funeral service. It has been a tiresome job at times, yet it has also been the most rewarding when the family hugs you and says, “we couldn’t have done it without you.” Transitioning your business, whether to the next generation, a key employee, or a third-party company can and will have emotional peaks and valleys. Navigating the emotional and financial journey can be easier with proper planning and foresight.
As a second-generation funeral director and former owner, I have walked in your shoes. I have struggled with the ghosts of generations past when deciding if selling the firm my father started was dishonoring his memory. I have also embraced the concerns of ensuring a life of financial independence for my family. These are common emotions among the clients we serve each day. However, having a team of experts in your corner that understand both the financial and emotional impacts associated with transitioning your business can ease your pain and reap your rewards.
The question sent to us is such an important question and one that I am often asked to touch upon. My reply is simple, “you wouldn’t enter a courtroom without proper legal representation, nor would you enter an operating room without proper medical personnel. Therefore, why would you enter into the single largest financial transfer of your family’s lifetime without a proper business consultant by your side?”
Just as your attorney or doctor examines your case and understands your needs, our team of professionals begin the process with a thorough understanding of your company, your family desires, and a solid valuation of your business. You can be confident you have a team of professionals on your side every step of the way…I know because I used this same team of professionals when I sold my business.