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Dealer Succession Planning

Dealer Succession Planning

Energy and Ambition are Critical for Continued Success

If you’re the owner of a dealership, you’re probably not a nine-to-five kind of person. You are an entrepreneur with a special thirst for challenges and will easily understand this quote: Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.

Successful dealership owners and general managers are almost always high-energy people who work many more hours than the average business owner or manager. When identifying a replacement in the course of business succession planning, it is very important to look beyond experience, education, and other very important criteria and consider energy and drive.

Planning Dealer Succession

What is Business Succession Planning?

Business Succession Planning is a series of logistical and financial decisions that include who will take over a business after the retirement, disability, or death of the current principal executive. Key decisions made through the process include: 1) transfer of value (wealth) when and how; 2) transfer of voting control when and how; 3) transfer of management leadership when and how and 4) if and when to get out and how?

According to, a recent study showed that 58% of business owners lacked a succession plan, and 47% of those over the age of 65 did not have a specific transition plan.

Dealerships are among the most complex businesses in the world, involving expensive inventories, large staffs, intricate financial transactions, intricate financing arrangements, and they are impacted significantly by even minor changes in the economy and interest rates. Dealerships have many “businesses” within the business. Sales, Parts, Service, Body, Financing and Insurance all are complex  and must work  together to for the dealership to operate as a High Performance Business. Dealership executive and management positions require an extensive understanding of how these units must combine to excel.

Dealer Succession Planning

If you are considering a succession plan for your dealership or group, it is prudent to consult with someone who has the industry experience. Kirk Kleckner is  a leading national expert for dealership succession planning as well as dealership valuation. You may reach Mr. Kleckner at 612-294-8730 and schedule a complimentary consultation.