Succession Planning Should Be an Open Discussion

Succession Planning

RCS Influencer Jennifer Stone says that contractors should take advantage of the resources that exist to help with succession planning.

Succession planning is such an important topic, yet many family owned business seem to just avoid the subject. I’ve never been in a family business and only have experience in the corporate world, where if someone was planning to retire, we would determine if there was a replacement within the company or if we would need a new hire. Then we would figure out how they would be trained and plan our next steps. It’s just not that simple in a family business.

I am fortunate to be a part of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) Future Executives Institute (FEI) Program and there is a big focus on succession planning for family businesses because many family businesses in this industry are not very good at creating a solid succession plan.  The program goes into what succession planning should look like, where to find legal help and defines the best way to plan based on each contractor’s business.

Contractors with family businesses should take advantage of the resources that are available through the NRCA and consider sending one of their family members through the FEI program. In addition to succession planning, it provides a great deal of information on family businesses in general, on increasing professionalism in our industry and on how to recruit millennials into roofing.

Tom Shanahan, who runs the FEI program is a great person to reach out to and well as Amy Schuman, a family business consultant that teaches some of the FEI succession planning classes. There are also consultants in the industry who specialize in succession planning for family businesses. Sometime a third-party consultant can be the right decision for a family business because they can take the emotion out of it, see things differently and look at from a strategic planning perspective.

I’d recommend taking a look at this free webinar on managing change in family businesses and checking out the following informational online resources:



Jennifer Stone is President of Nation’s Roof, Pacific Northwest. See her full bio here.


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