Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Business Transition Crisis – Book Review

Who is this book for?

This book is a must read for entrepreneurs and business owners who are thinking about their succession plan or drafting an exit strategy. Every business owner must plan for that transition. Unfortunately not everyone does. If you don’t plan your business transition someone else will make the decisions for you.

What is the urgency?

This book sounds a timely warning to the baby boomers within that group. Many of those business owners will be forced into a fire sale. Baby boomers have affected so many aspects of our culture and economy as they’ve grown older.

If you are a boomer you might recall the mortgage rates of the eighties hitting the high teens. I felt lucky to lock in at 14% for five years. Prices skyrocketed when boomers were ready to buy – and they will plummet when they are ready to sell.

This book offers some startling statistics. One that might chill you is “71% of business owners plan to retire within the next 10 years, yet only 7% have a written plan for succession.”

Imagine the financial, emotional and health tolls on the unprepared business owners. Perhaps the most traumatic issue for entrepreneurs is to let go of the business they built. That’s the case at the best of times. Imagine the pandemic when the massive baby boomer crowd decides to exit en mass. That’s the crisis.

Why should you read it?

The Business Transition Crisis is a good read for any business owner even if the only thing it does for you is to help you recast your business as a product – not as your baby. That major perspective shift is necessary for you to begin and successfully complete your transition.

The book continues to offer perspective checks and guidelines for the successful business owner. You can follow this systematic approach to prepare yourself and your business for successful transition. Even if you think that it’s too early to start planning your transition it will be worthwhile to read the book, address the questions and start preparing yourself for the process.

The book is written in a business-owner-talking-to-business-owner candor. Wayne Vanwyck offers you insights from his experience as an owner of three businesses. That includes lessons from his mistakes and successes. He reveals his own painful wakeup call that forced him to address his business transition.

The author provides insights from the interviews that he conducted with hundreds of business owners across North America. The excerpts from some of these conversations are revealing. Some examples will make you cheer while others might sadden you. In every case the lessons are clear and simple. This is reflective experience speaking to you.

If you are thinking about your business transition then this book is a powerful yet clear and simple step-by-step guide to personal and financial success. You are presented with probing questions that must be addressed at each step of the process. There are checklists, action lists and tips.

There’s help on how to build your transition team and ensure that all the relevant players are working for your best interest. The book introduces the intriguing concept of working with a Business Transition Coach. This is a role that offers more comprehensive support than one would receive from a lawyer, banker, accountant or business broker.

The book lists and explores several options of retiring from your business. In each case there are important steps you must follow to ensure the success of your health, financial security and important relationships.

The Business Transition Crisis is a book that every business owner needs to read before they retire so they can retire successfully.

© George Torok is the host of the radio show Business in Motion. He has interviewed over 450 business leaders. You can listen to those interviews free at You can also listen to those Podcasts on iTunes. George is a motivational business speaker. Arrange a speech or presentation at or call 905-335-1997

Book review by George Torok

Learn more about The Business Transition Crisis


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