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Book Review: Changing Places: Making a Success of Succession Planning for Entrepreneurs by David Franzetta and Moss A. Jackson, PhD

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Small business owners: think you are going to live forever? Then why are you running your operation that way? Without deliberate planning, most businesses fail when it comes time to hand the reins over to someone else. Instead of leaving this transition to chance, do what you can to protect that thriving business which you’ve worked hard to build from the ground up. But where do you start? What’s known to work and just as importantly, what doesn’t work and should be avoided? Changing Places: Making a Success of Succession Planning for Entrepreneurs and Family Business Owners is the perfect starting point for succession planning. Authors David Franzetta and Moss A. Jackson, PhD, offer introductory information to get the process underway and off on the right foot.

While the short book doesn’t contain 100% of the steps needed, it provides a wealth of easy-to-understand points meant to spring the reader into action. A quick down and dirty on the subject, it is meant to give a firm foundation to build upon so readers can explore their options with confidence. The book utilizes some real world examples to help clarify potential issues, such as family dynamics and changeovers versus buyouts. Further, the Key Questions to Ask Yourself sections at the end of each chapter greatly assist the reader in putting their own situation into the forefront and applying the text appropriately.

Changing Places is a must read for any small business or entrepreneur who doesn’t already have a set and detailed succession plan already in place. While the items may, in fact, be used by large businesses, the text and all included examples are written specifically from the small business perspective. The book is organized into manageable sections, each building on the last and flowing to the next section seamlessly and with purpose. The editing is first rate; I only found one small spelling error. This gives the book a polished, professional, and authoritative feel. All in all, an excellent and easy way to start the process of effective operations handover and ultimately, fostering business success from generation to generation.

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