NDSU Extension Service - Sargent County

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Succession Planning is Like a Relay Race

Succession Planning is Like a Relay Race  12/30/16Farm businesses, and many other rural businesses, can plan for the smooth transition of the operation from owner to successor.  The process is similar to how a baton in a relay race is passed (handed off) from one runner to the next.

During a relay race, the baton passes from one runner to the next while the two runners are together in the exchange zone.  The “exchange zone” in a farm business is that period of time when the business is in between the growth and maturity stages of its cycle. 

At that point, the owner has identified a person who will eventually become the successor.  The owner stays with that person as he/she “gets up to speed.” Then, the owner drops back as the successor continues to accelerate, growing and expanding the business into its next cycle. 

What the owner experiences as the maturity stage of the operation is what serves as the introduction and growth stages for the successor.  This overlap is like the “exchange zone” in a relay race, and making the most of it is what can help prevent the business from going into decline. 

Farmers who want to learn more about managing the business life cycle of their farm are invited to participate in the Design Your Succession Plan (DYSP) program workshop.  Extension agents from Sargent, Dickey, LaMoure, Ransom and Barnes counties will be co-hosting the workshop in March.  Contact the Sargent County Extension Office or visit https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/succession/events to request more information or register for the workshop.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/runner-track-athlete-relay-race-1544448/   (downloaded 1/4/17)

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