In many cases, an inheritance is a good thing, albeit a solemn occasion. There are plenty of instances in a business situation, however, where inheriting things isn’t always the blessing you might think. Here are a few “inherited” issues that all businesses must watch out for – and how to combat them.
Inherited ideology. Any successful brand has a strong mission and identity, and that usually comes with a set of concepts about how to execute that mission. With a powerful brand, that can be a blessing – or stifling. Fashion design houses often find difficulty finding a director who can be true to the spirit of the brand while channeling their own creative efforts. While a pulp manufacturer may seem worlds away from design, the issue is the same – carrying out someone else’s mission when it may have run its course.
Inherited technology. Starting up from scratch can be very costly. So purchasing a “turn key” business can mean serious cost savings for a small business owner. Unless, of course, that equipment creates real cost issues in terms of raw materials waste and production. Upgrading equipment need not be a budget breaker; just because the previous owner “Macgyver-ed” his equipment with a paperclip and bubble gum doesn’t mean you have to.
Inherited dysfunction. Dysfunction can crop up in any business situation, but where it can do the most damage is by poisoning the opportunity for creativity and a change of management style. “We’ve always done it this way,” could be the mantra for this inheritance. A great example would be partnering with a company like Komax to have an outside opinion on your processes and equipment – only to be shot down as too costly or unnecessary. Don’t let legacy thinking damage your ability to take advantage of innovative partnerships.
Know when to accept a business “inheritance” and when you are better off “making it on your own!”