Happy New Year! What will 2018 bring for you, and for SB Partners? These early months herald new beginnings and fresh opportunities. And with them, endings, and periods of transition.
Transitions are much on my mind this year. Sherry and I became grandparents in 2017, and it has been a euphoric experience. The thrill of seeing our grandchild break into a big smile when he sees us melts our hearts. Assuming the role of grandparents has been one of the best transitions of our lives.
But for many of us, the thrill of this stage coincides with the responsibility of becoming a caregiver to aging parents, and the need to focus on our own health. As entrepreneurs, these life passages often shape the priority and timing of our business decisions.
What is happening this year, in your life and your company?
Every privately-owned business goes through periods of change, whether related to growth, strategic reorientation, or ownership. In my experience, planning a smooth transition is essential to maintaining organizational momentum, client goodwill, and employee retention and morale. Much of our effort is spent helping clients plan and navigate these changes. We also excel at solving the inevitable challenges that arise. To quote Dwight D. Eisenhower, “in preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
As important as action, transitions require focused thought and introspection. They invite us to consider all elements of the business, to explore new perspectives and next-generation market opportunities. The journey we take in growing a business is exciting, but the outcomes are never certain. As John F. Kennedy reminds us: “change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.
This year will be our 44th year in business. SB’s roots are entrepreneurial. I believe that entrepreneurial spirit – with its willingness to confront the unknown, and resilience in the face of adversity – is why we have become a trusted advisor and partner to so many clients. This culture, combined with SB Partners’ decades’ worth of experience serving SMEs, allows us to provide best in class advice to our entrepreneurial clients.
SB is a mature company now. But independence and entrepreneurship remain our foundational philosophies. We regularly fine-tune our strategy, and spend a lot of time “sharpening the saw” – making sure our processes, products, and services are best in class. I am an avid reader, always looking for ways to improve our business and yours. Though I read lots of new books, my recommendation for any business in transition is Leading Change by John Kotter. It is the definitive go-to manual on organizational change, with a comprehensive approach and guidance that has stood the test of time.
Whatever transitions the year has in store, may 2018 bring you health and happiness. Peace and prosperity.