According to recent research, a staggering two-thirds of US millionaire-owned businesses are operating without a succession plan—and even fewer small business owners around the globe are prepared for their CEO’s eventual exit.
Recent stats from PWC Global show that family-owned businesses are no more prepared: 43% don’t have a succession plan in place, and only 12% survive to the third generation.
No matter whether your campground has one employee or a hundred, a succession plan is essential to minimize the risk of financial loss.
Read on to help prepare for a stress-free transition when it’s time to sell or transfer ownership of your campground.
Define your objectives
The starting point for any campground succession plan is a reflection on your long term goals, both personally and professionally.
Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? What would you like your retirement to look like? Who are the best people to take over if you have to step away from the campground suddenly – and how can you best prepare them for the task?
Once you’ve tackled the big picture questions, your next step is to seek planning advice from your lawyer, accountant, wealth management, and business advisors.
At the same time, you’ll be able to start grooming your successor and training your employees for a smooth transition when you leave.
Tips for successful campground succession planning
Most campground owners find it daunting to think about everything they’ll need to do before they can leave the campground they’ve worked so hard to build. It takes time to create a useful, well-thought out campground succession plan—so start early, and don’t rush the process.
One of the most important elements of campground succession planning is clear and timely communication. Be sure to keep key stakeholders, business partners, employees, and family members involved in the planning process early and often.
Set a reasonable timeline for the creation of your campground succession plan and try your best to stick to it. Once you have a plan in place, schedule a review on a yearly basis. It’s always wise to have contingency plans in place in case any sudden life changes require an unexpected exit.
Many campground owners time an annual review of their campground’s business plan along with a review of their campground succession plan to ensure both are always up to date.
Final tips for campground succession planning
A wealth of information is available online for campground owners ready to start succession planning. Free and low cost tools can help you get started and stay on track throughout the process.
Although it’s impossible to predict how long it might take for a campground to sell, a good guideline to keep in mind is two to five years. In addition to the other professionals you’ll want to consult as you draft your campground succession plan, you may want to consider the services of a business broker.
Ask your colleagues or accountant for a referral to a broker with experience in the campground industry. A good broker can really streamline the campground sales process and maximize the perceived value of your campground to buyers.
It can be heart wrenching for a campground owner to walk away from their park, and some owners will plan to stay involved in some way for a few months—or indefinitely. Many find maintaining an ongoing role in their campground can mean a more satisfying, and financially stable, retirement.
At Campground Accounting, we specialize in working with Campground and RV Park owners throughout the USA. Our industry knowledge is focused on taking the headaches out of accounting and helping your grow your campground’s value. Don’t you owe it to yourself to see how we can help you? Schedule a complimentary chat with us today at www.campgroundaccounting.com/meet.