Businesses usually face a myriad of challenges. This is why more than half of all new businesses usually close shop within five years. Businesses that manage to survive the startup phase and go into the profit-making territory are valuable because they have proven the conversion to success and profitability.
After spending a lot of money and time and investing in the business physically and emotionally, it can be depressing to part ways with the business when the time comes to change directions or transition.
However, business owners should make decisions knowing that nobody can work all their life. A time comes when succession must be discussed. Double Iron Consulting is a business consultancy firm that focuses on helping business owners with succession planning.
Why Succession is a Sensitive Topic
Family businesses usually depend heavily on the founder, the head of the family. Problems usually arise when the head of the family wants to hand over the mantle of leadership to the kids.
First, none of the kids may want to take over the management of the business. This may be because they have different interests. Secondly, the successors may not have the knowledge, skills, or experience to run the business properly.
In some cases, there might be no successor at all. Whatever the case, Bill Smith of Double Iron Consulting, can work with the business owner and their family to develop a suitable succession plan.
About Double Iron Consulting
Double Iron Consulting is a business consultancy firm that focuses on helping family businesses with succession planning and a myriad of other strategic issues.
Founded in 2021 by William Smith, also known as Bill Smith, Double Iron Consulting works to give back to the family business community.
Bill Smith has spent almost all his adult life working for Royal Cup Coffee, a family business. During high school, Bill interned at the family business, where he learned about the business and acquired essential business management skills.
After graduating high school, he worked full-time for the company in different capacities. After earning his bachelor of arts degree and MBA, Bill was ready to take on more and more leadership responsibilities at Royal Cup Coffee.
Beginning in 2014, as the president and CEO of Royal Cup Coffee, Bill implemented necessary changes that moved the family business to the next level.
One of the first things William Smith did was oversee the family business’s rebranding process. This is one of his critical successes as president and CEO of Royal Cup Coffee.
He also completed a major rebranding project, which was the hallmark of his success. After spending six years at the helm, Bill stepped down in 2020 as company CEO.
He and the board resolved to take a different path by promoting a non-family executive to CEO. This move was strategic because it was meant to ensure the company always would find the best talent to lead and grow the company.
After leaving the company, William Smith decided to start Double Iron Consulting to give back to the family business community. The business consultancy firm focuses on helping family businesses overcome challenges, including succession.
With his hands-on background working for and running a family business, William Smith brings both business experience and the technical expertise needed to help create solutions for challenges experienced by family businesses.
Services Offered by Double Iron Consulting
Succession planning is essential for every family business. This is because the business is well-served to demonstrate strategy and intentions beyond the current head of the family. If a succession plan exists, Double Iron Consulting will analyze how the plan is being implemented and streamline the implementation process.
Improving Business Operations
Double Iron Consulting also will work on improving the business’s operations. While a family business may be operating profitably, there may be bottlenecks that can be removed to improve the efficiency of business operations and increase the business’s profitability.
Business Advisory Board
Double Iron Consulting can assist with building an advisory board or board of directors for the family business. Having board members to advise and offer guidance on strategic issues often is a strong advantage for family businesses. It always helps to have an external party ready for consistent guidance and they can make the decision-making process more objective and responsive to shareholders.
One of the things the team from Double Iron Consulting will do is identify skills and experience gaps. Once this has been done, the next step is to offer leadership training to the successors. This is a crucial component of both succession planning and leadership development.
Recruiting a Non-Family CEO
While business owners may want the next generation in their family to take over the running of the business, this is not always possible and this may not always be the best option for the business itself.
When the business owner decides that recruiting a non-family CEO is the best option, Double Iron Consulting will begin identifying employees who are best suited to handle the job.
The good news is that loyal employees working alongside the founder often are best suited to lead the company if a family successor is not immediately available.
Perspectives on Leadership
Many leadership styles exist, each of which has pros and cons. Autocratic leadership leaves very little room for the opinions of others. However, business owners who are experts in their respective fields can achieve immense success without the input of their employees or business consultants.
Democratic leaders usually seek the opinions of others. It is also known as participatory leadership. It differs significantly from autocratic leadership and makes employees feel appreciated.
Transformational leadership is more of an approach to leadership than a type of leadership. It entails sharing the vision and mission of the company to inspire employees to achieve organizational goals. Other leadership styles include; bureaucratic, transactional, and laissez fairre leadership.