Business Succession Planning Services & Consulting | The McFarland Group

Successor Readiness Assessment

Buying a Business

Determining the readiness of a successor owner for a closely held business requires a comprehensive assessment of their skills, experience, and potential. Here are some steps you can take to evaluate their readiness:

Evaluate their business acumen

Assess the potential successor’s understanding of the company’s operations, financials, and industry. This includes their knowledge of the company’s products or services, customer base, competitive landscape, and market trends.

Assess their leadership skills

Evaluate the potential successor’s ability to lead and manage people. This includes their communication skills, decision-making abilities, and ability to motivate and inspire employees.

Evaluate their strategic thinking

Assess their ability to think critically and develop strategies for growth and success. This includes their understanding of the company’s vision and mission, ability to set goals and priorities, and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Evaluate their financial literacy

Determine their understanding of financial statements, budgeting, forecasting, and risk management.

Evaluate their commitment to the business:

Determine their level of commitment to the business and willingness to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure its success. This includes their willingness to work long hours, take on new challenges, and invest their time and resources in the business.

Evaluate their relationships with key stakeholders

Determine the potential successor’s ability to build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Provide mentoring and training

Offer mentoring and training opportunities to help the potential successor develop the necessary skills and knowledge to take over the business.

Overall, evaluating the readiness of a successor owner for a closely held business requires a comprehensive and objective assessment of their skills, experience, and potential. It is important to approach the process with an open mind and be willing to provide support and guidance as needed.

Challenges in selling your business to your children

Selling a business to your children can be a complex process, both emotionally and financially. While it may seem like a logical choice, there are several challenges to consider before making a final decision. Some of the key challenges include:

Balancing family dynamics

Selling a business to your children can be challenging because it can blur the lines between business and family. It’s important to establish clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning to avoid potential conflicts.


The business must be valued fairly to ensure that both parties are getting a fair deal. This can be a complex process, especially if the business is unique or has intangible assets.


If your children do not have the capital to purchase the business outright, financing options must be considered. This may include seller financing or third-party financing, both of which come with their own set of risks and challenges.

Succession planning

Selling your business to your children means that you must have a succession plan in place to ensure a smooth transition of ownership and management. This involves identifying key employees, creating a plan for leadership development, and establishing clear roles and responsibilities.

Tax implications

Selling a business can have significant tax implications, and it’s important to understand the tax implications of the sale to both the seller and the buyer.

Overall, selling a business to your children can be a complex and emotional process. It’s important to carefully consider all of the challenges and risks involved before making a final decision. Working with a trusted financial advisor or business broker can help you navigate the process and ensure a successful transition of ownership.

How to approach your employer about buying the company

Discussing your desire to buy your employer’s business can be a delicate matter, but here are some steps you can follow to approach the conversation:

Choose the right time and place

Schedule a meeting with your employer in a private and professional setting. Make sure you choose a time when your employer is not too busy or stressed.

Express your interest

Start the conversation by expressing your interest in the business. Explain why you want to buy the business and what you hope to achieve by doing so. Be honest and enthusiastic about your intentions.

Highlight your qualifications

Discuss your qualifications and experience that make you a good candidate for owning the business. Explain how you plan to grow the business and why you believe you are the right person to take it over.

Address any concerns

Your employer may have concerns about selling the business to you, such as your ability to finance the purchase or your qualifications. Address these concerns directly and offer solutions to any potential issues.

Discuss the next steps

If your employer is open to selling the business to you, discuss the next steps. This may involve conducting a business valuation, negotiating a purchase price, and securing financing.

Seek legal advice

It is important to seek legal advice before entering into any agreements or making any commitments. A lawyer can help you review and draft legal documents and ensure that the sale is conducted properly.

Remember, approaching your employer to buy their business can be a sensitive matter, so it is important to be respectful and professional throughout the conversation. Be prepared to answer any questions your employer may have, and listen carefully to their concerns and feedback.

Owner Readiness