Saturday, February 13, 2010
What if you were to die tonight? Would you company cease to exist tomorrow? If so, then it's obvious that all of the client relationships with key clients rests with you. This exclusive dependance on YOU can have a devastating impact on your brand. Since YOU are the brand - it all rides on your staying around forever.
All of your stakeholders rely on you and your exclusive relationships. As much as it gets you the billings you need to grow the brand, it is a ticking time-bomb. Maybe your long-term plan is to sell the company at some point and bow out. But what you may not have predicted is the fact that since clients rely on YOU, can you be so sure that they will accept being "sold" to another party. Chances are greater that they will walk. I have a colleague who had exactly this happen to them. It immediately killed their succession plans. It was a rude awakening. When they did sell, it was for "substantially" less, because the book of business was not assured.
All of your employees, suppliers and dependents will suffer needlessly unless you act now to bring on a lieutenant and instill the values and work ethics than each client has grown to love in you. Your brand needs another YOU to succeed long after you've departed.