Successful businesses take time and effort. Successful business owners naturally want to preserve the organization they persevered to build. This is where leaving a business legacy comes in.
Most business owners want to pass down the company to the next generation. For family-run businesses, they pass it down to children, grandchildren, or the closest kin they have. Of course, passing the business down to qualified, skilled kin is required to keep the organization alive and running for years.
However, building a legacy does not always have to include family. For some business owners, leaving a legacy means leaving an impact on the world and other people’s lives. It might also mean teaching employees values and methods to run the businesses successfully in the future.
A Family Affair
Forbes discusses that keeping a family business’s legacy alive can be incredibly challenging. This is because business owners who pass down the company to families have two priorities: the health of the business and the family mission.
According to general corporate governance, owners must always strive to get the highest value a company can get. However, some owners who wish to pass the company to their next kin may not always achieve this high value because they think long-term.
This may become an issue with stakeholders who wish to liquidate a company’s assets to get their share. When this happens, the family of the owner may be forced to exit the company. According to company documents, it is the owner’s duty to always look at the company’s best interest my maximizing its value.
What, then, can business owners who want to pass the company to the next generation do?
The best solution is to write it down in corporate documents. An owner must include in the provision of this document that the top priority is to keep the family ownership.
Legacy in Leadership
Building a legacy for leaders is essential, too. As a leader, you get to influence people around you and help shape their future. A leader’s legacy is a result of the decision they make; these decisions are driven by their personal values. To build a great legacy, a leader must keep its employees engaged, inspired, and encouraged.
To keep an employee engaged, a leader must set a clear vision or goal for the company. They must also explain to the employees the reason behind these goals. When employees understand the logic and intention behind the vision, they become more motivated.
Additionally, it’s not always about the knowledge a leader passes but how they pass it to the employees. A leader must lead by example. It is easier for employees to follow something tangible, something they have seen done by an excellent leader. These actions are something they can aspire to do in the future.
Why Is It Important to Leave a Business Legacy?
Building a legacy is like building a foundation for a business. It sets up the company’s goal and how an owner envisions the business to grow decades after. If a business’s vision is not only to gain profit but also to help people, it can give an edge to the company against competitors.
Aside from this, having a business with a clear purpose attracts talented, skilled professionals. Beyond salary, most intelligent professionals want satisfying jobs that are meaningful and impactful.
How to Keep a Business Legacy
Because of the importance of having a business legacy, most companies go through lengths to ensure the legacy is built successfully. Part of a legacy is its history. Storing company items, documents, and other product literature and materials using archive storage solutions can help keep the history of a company.
But before keeping company history, the first step in building a legacy is thinking about the values a business wants to uphold. It, again, must be something beyond earning a profit. Once the company values are determined, they must be spread across the organization, and each member must uphold these values.
Additionally, a business can select a cause that aligns with the company’s values. A real estate company, for instance, may choose a cause that helps people build affordable homes. It can also be a personal cause. For example, if someone in the family had cancer, the family business might support those aligned to the same struggle the family has been through.
In the end, the goal of a company is to make a lasting impact. It is not only taking care of the business. It is about taking care of the people who benefit from it, whether it’s kin, an employee, or the company’s customers, as well as the community the business helps.