Creative Genius Podcast

Season 8 Episode 3

Succession Planning 101 (Bob Rauf)

Succession Planning 101 (Bob Rauf)

You may not be thinking about retirement now. At some point in the future, though, you probably will want to leave your business and move into the next phase of your life. It’s never too early to start planning for that day. Even if it’s a simple one, every business should have a succession plan. And you should have an exit plan to ensure you can enjoy the retirement you deserve.

In this episode, Gail talks with Bob Rauf, a wealth management advisor with Meridian Financial in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bob has more than 35 years of experience helping his clients navigate their financial success. A strong believer in having a succession plan for your business and an exit plan for your retirement, Bob has been on the path of his succession plan since 2016. Come 2030, he’ll be ready to leave the company.

While it’s not necessary to set an end date for when you will leave the firm, Bob said that business owners should allow at least five years to carry out their succession plan. It’s important, Bob said, that you maintain and grow the value of the business over that time, up until the time you plan to leave, so as to reap the most benefit from the sale of the business.

For small businesses, he offered two possible scenarios for how that succession might take place.

In the first scenario, you bring on a partner who will eventually take over the business. At agreed-upon intervals, the partner will buy into an increasing percentage of the business. At the point at which you leave the business, you will still own 50 percent of the business, which you will sell to the partner to help fund your retirement.

In the second scenario, you have a team member who wants eventually to take over the business but does not have the resources to buy into the business as a partner. In that case you and the team member develop a long-term incentive plan under which they must meet certain periodic revenue growth goals for a specified number of years. If they have met those goals, at the end of the period they receive a lump sum cash payment, with which they can buy the business. If not, they receive nothing (other than their normal compensation during those years).

Gail asked what life is like after running a business for so many years. What does one do with one’s time? Bob said he always advises his clients to think about the question: What are you retiring to? You need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, something that gives you a sense of purpose. That doesn’t have to be work. It could be a hobby or some other desirable pursuit. But it does have to be meaningful and fulfilling. Decide on what that is before retiring.

For more on these and other strategies for a successful exit and retirement, listen to the entire podcast.

If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, read the full shownotes here:

Mentioned in This Podcast

If you want to contact Bob for help with succession or retirement planning, you will find his contact information on the Meridian Financial website Team page at

Bob recommended a book he recently read, 10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy (listen to our podcast episode with Benjamin Hardy here).

Gail suggested several books that could help business owners with their approach to succession planning, especially in regards to preparing their team to run the business after they’ve left:

  • Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy
  • Burn the Boats: Toss Plan B Overboard and Unleash Your Full Potential by Matt Higgins (listen to our podcast episode with Matt Higgins here)
  • All In: How Great Leaders Build Unstoppable Teams by Mike Michalowicz (listen to our most recent podcast episode with Mike Michalowicz here)

All of these books are available through bookstores and online sellers.

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