Passing the Baton: The Right Order of Things
The late Larry Burkett wrote:
“If I had to identify the area of finance that is least understood, it would be inheritance. Not only do people wreck their lives by hoarding, but they also wreck the lives of their children and grandchildren with abundant inheritance.”
The prospect of passing on the business I started in 1988 has been on my mind for some time now. I believe my children would tell you I have been a pretty good provider through the years, even as I was more than a little involved in building a commercial printing company.
I have three great sons—Paul, Barton and Brandon Beyer. All of them are such individuals, I could only hope they would take a serious interest in carrying on the business, at some point, so I could enjoy other interests—time to travel with my wife Susan, more software development, and time to write at least one more book.
Five years ago, only one of my sons had been involved in the business at all.
Paul, the eldest of the “Beyer Boys” now has been in production more than 20 years at our company. He is very well-versed in virtually every phase of our print manufacturing operations—technical hands-on, one of the best pressman around, and a huge proponent of the systemization that drives our business. However, the economy had him thinking for a while, like many in our industry, that maybe he should go back to school and learn another trade.
At the time, my second son Barton was majoring in advertising at MTSU, thinking about launching out and making his way with a large ad firm somewhere. Three years ago, when we were seeking a new prepress manager, he took an interest in that aspect of the business and has turned out to be the best prepress manager we’ve ever had.