Turning your business over to family or a new owner doesn’t need to be painful. These dealer execs share their diverse approaches.

Of all the challenges farm equipment dealer-principals will face in their careers, none is more personal than succession planning. After years of building a successful business, determining how it will continue into the future can be emotional and complicated.

We all know dealers who lost out on opportunities because their major line did not view them as a dealer of the future. Being told that you must be a “shark or bait” is tough to swallow. But failure to accept that you must have either a succession plan or an exit plan may be a dealer’s biggest mistake of all.

During the panel discussion on succession planning at the Dealership Minds Summit, five forward-looking dealers describe vastly different scenarios they are preparing as a means to maintain their businesses well into the future. And while each represents a unique approach, all have one common theme: it’s never too early to start planning for the future of your dealership.

Family Affair: Passing It to the Next Generation — Tim Young

Acquisition Growth Can be Done Without Seeking Additional Capital — Mike Hedge

Transitioning the Lead at a Multi-Owner Dealership — Mark Foster

Taking Your Dealership Public — David Meyer

More Locations Doesn’t Equal More Profits — Gord Thompson

Home-Grown Grooming of Talent — Keith Kreps

Employee Ownerships (ESOPs) — Clint Schnoor