VICTORIA – In Canada, 60 per cent of all small business owners (under 100 employees) are over the age of 50. Of these, roughly 40 per cent are not prepared to transition their company, a process that typically takes five years.
Victoria’s ReGeneration Family Business Transitions Inc. was created to address the needs of these owners, offering programs that allow for a smooth transition into the next generation of leadership.
“We have two primary offerings,” says Founder and Principal Gary Linford. “First, I work with owners to structure their business and leadership team in order to prepare themselves for transition into retirement. This includes identifying a successor, who could be their second-in-command or a family member. We work with the company on a regular basis, and are highly involved in coaching and guiding the process.
“The second step is all about training,” he continues. “When the company has identified the successor, we take this individual through a specialized training process to prepare them for the new position.”
This second step is called the Leadership Transition Training Program. As a first component of the training program, successors are immersed in a series of courses delivered by “Professors of Practice” – experts in various fields who are closely aligned with small business.
“All our Professors of Practice are either operating their own, or working closely with a small business,” says Linford.
Course subject matter includes topics such as, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Market Research, Human Resource Management, Successful Leadership, and Production/Operations.
These courses will be followed by a monthly seminar, which is a four-hour round-table forum where the successors discuss implementing what they are learning. This helps participants apply the information gleaned from the educational settings.
As a third component, Linford will individually coach each program participant, giving personalized assistance as they grow into their new role.
“Among the many outcomes of this program, our graduates build lifelong peer relationships,” says Linford. “Additionally, they develop a network of 10 to 12 experts who they can phone up at any time. We do everything we can to set the company up for decades of future success.”
Program participants have included Island companies such as Victoria’s Bauco Access Panel Solutions, Duncan’s Live Edge Design, and the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company.
To stay updated on upcoming announcements, including dates and new programs, visit www.regenerationfamilybiz.com