MANKATO — Retirement of baby boomers is a big topic in the business community as a shortage of workers makes it harder to find the next generation of employees.
But the aging population brings other big challenges, including creating a good succession plan to pass farms and business onto family members or key employees.
"Succession planning is a necessity. We're dealing with an aging population, and there have been a lot of changes in recent years where people do business differently. Farms have grown to very large operations where they have a lot of staff and may have an international reach," said Honey Burg, co-owner of TLP Co.
The business is part of The Legal Professionals, a group of law offices in Mankato, New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Hutchinson, with the Mankato office at 500 South Broad St.
TLP was established to provide facilitation, decision analytics, mediation and fiduciary support services for individuals and families, business and farm business owners.
Burg said family businesses need to have a plan in place and to prepare for a variety of events, such as one of the family members being given fiduciary responsibilities or care support obligations for an aging relative in the business.
And a plan is important not only in family businesses being passed on to others in the family. "Businesses on Main Street may not have a successor in the family, but may have some long-term employee as a successor. It's important to keep these businesses vital and on Main Street," Burg said.
Brent Pearson, a former analyst with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, works for TLP and provides a host of analytical data for businesses and farms, either as they're planning for succession or at any time to improve their success.
"This is a huge economic development need in our area. It can range from a small business that just needs some numbers to build and grow their business. And we scale up from there."
Pearson said they do demographic and market data research to find who a business should market to or provide a variety of other information tailored to help individual businesses. He said such analytics can help at a variety of points.
"If you think of a business or farm as a life cycle, it starts, grows, expands and has a succession phase and sometimes they may have to sell it at that point," Pearson said.
TLP also works with communities and organizations and offers discounts for services that relate to sustainability and resiliency efforts in local communities, including affordable housing initiatives, brown space revitalization, owner-occupied vacant property renovation, grow local initiatives and environmental cleanup efforts.
Katie Boone, organizational development director, based in the Mankato office, is coordinating a series of workshops in the area on succession planning and using insight analytics.
"The workshops are designed to break it down to bite-size pieces so it's not like information coming from a fire hose."
The two-hour workshops start this month and run into June. Followup workshops will further delve into the issues.
A May 29 pre-succession planning workshop will be in Sleepy Eye,
A workshop on using analytics for businesses and farm businesses will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at Profinium Bank in Mankato.
The analytics workshop also will be held in New Ulm on Thursday, June 21.
The workshops are $25 and include lunch. People interested in registering or who want more information can call 507-354-2161.