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HealthKeeperz Shares Insights on How to Navigate Family Business Succession Planning

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There are very few certainties in life and business. Still, one thing is for sure: things change. Whether reaching retirement or simply getting older, change is a fact of life. Being prepared for any of life’s transitions – both personally and professionally – can help these changes happen as smoothly as possible. And while some of life’s transitions may be difficult, going into them prepared with the right knowledge, resources, and support can help both families and businesses emerge stronger.

The Importance of Being Prepared

It can be daunting to think about retirement or what may happen if a loved one’s health begins to decline. However, proactively considering these things early can save your family, business, and employees a lot of stress. Documenting and communicating your wishes and decisions to family members and stakeholders can ensure a transition free of confusion or conflict.

HealthKeeperz President Tim Brooks Provides Insight on Ensuring a Smooth Transition

As the successor to his father’s company, HealthKeeperz, Tim Brooks has had first hand experience at navigating family business transitions and shares the following tips to ensure a successful switch in leadership.

  1. Get Help

One of the most important things you can do is to surround yourself with support. If you are planning to exit your business, you will need to talk to accountants and attorneys to get the best advice. What’s more, communicating your plans with family, business partners, and loved ones can help you feel more supported during the initial planning stages. If you think you’ll need extra support, investing in a succession planning consultant can be a great idea, as their specific experience in this field can help you craft a smart strategy.

  1. Understand That Succession Planning Doesn’t End

While we may wish for it to be so, life is never linear, and neither is succession planning. Sometimes, curveballs are thrown our way, and we need to be able to stay flexible. Ultimately, the best plans are the most adaptable ones. This is where having a strong professional and familial support network can help you anticipate and address these curve balls when they happen.

  1. Anticipate Potential Conflict

When it comes to succession planning in business, conflict is sometimes unavoidable, and should thus be anticipated. For example, a sibling passed over for a leadership role may feel overlooked, or current employees may bring objections to new leadership plans. This is where strong, early communication is key. When speaking with family and business partners/employees, it is important to explain the ‘why’ behind each decision made. Sharing the logic here can help answer questions and clarify your intent before misunderstandings arise.

  1. Create a Plan that Addresses Both Business and Health

The best plans take into account not only the business aspect of succession but the health and family aspect. Depending on your needs, incorporating a home health care solution may be a wise choice as part of your family planning. Care teams, like those available through HealthKeeperz, can offer navigational support during this transition, providing targeted care and helping individuals and family members tackle the often lengthy checklist of to-do items that come with family planning.

  1. Invest in Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance can cover a range of services not typically covered by regular health insurance, including assisted living and at-home health services. Investing in this early on can help alleviate worries around finances, and with 70% of people over 65 needing some form of long-term care, crossing this off of your checklist now will help you and your family be prepared for the future.

  1. Prepare as Much as Possible

The worst thing you can do when thinking about succession is not to have a clear plan in place. For example, financial performance often dips in the year before and after a change in leadership. What’s more, research presented in a Forbes article focused on CEO Succession found that large companies that experienced forced successions would have generated an average of $112 billion more in market value had that succession been planned beforehand. While your family business may not be dealing with such high numbers, the message is clear: preparation can yield a significant positive financial impact on your company.

Great succession planning and family planning is a tremendous gift one can give to both their business and family. Start thinking through a strategy early, and make sure to cross your T’s and dot your I’s.

How HealthKeeperz Navigated This Transition

HealthKeeperz started as a small family business in 1966. Founded by Howard Brooks, the community pharmacy served the community of Pembroke, North Carolina, for decades. Over the years, the company has grown to encompass a variety of home-based health care services offered to the communities throughout the southeastern part of the state.

Howard Brooks always led with succession in mind, understanding that his children would one day take over the company. In 2000, his son, Tim Brooks, entered the company, serving as Home Health Director for four years. During this time, Tim Brooks learned the ropes from his father as they built a vision for the future of HealthKeeperz together. In 2004, Howard Brooks retired from leadership, and Tim took over as President. Under Tim Brooks’ leadership, the company has continued to prioritize a purpose-driven culture. HealthKeeperz now employs nearly 200 caregivers across the state who provide uncompromising levels of home health care, giving patients the high quality of life that they deserve.

HealthKeeperz founder Howard Brooks continues to advise and mentor his son Tim as the company reaches new heights in innovation and excellence of care.

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