- Do start planning now. The earlier planning begins, the greater number of options.
- Do become educated about the subject — take workshops and seminars, read articles, complete self-assessment questionnaires related to succession; become an active participant in the planning process.
- Do figure out each individual’s personal, family and business goals.
- Do complete a financial analysis of the past and present farm business along with some financial projections. Profitability is a key piece of the puzzle — the “show stopper” when it comes to developing a succession plan. If the farm is not making money now, what can be done to make it profitable? Is the farm business viable in the long run?
- Do write it down. By writing it down, all family members see exactly how the plan will unfold, which can help avoid future misunderstandings.