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Does Your Small Business Pass the 'Hit-by-a-Bus' Test?

DSM Succession Planning

April 26, 2018

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. This holds true for Greater Des Moines (DSM).

There are more than 265,000 small businesses in Iowa making up 99.3 percent of all businesses. Together, they employ 641,000 people, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Added to that, 78 percent of all new jobs are created by family businesses. Small businesses add jobs at the quickest rate.

Future of your business

With small business being so vital to the local community and economy, it begs the question: What would happen to your business if you weren’t able to make it to work on Monday? Having a succession plan in place is a vital part of ensuring your business remains in business. Does your business pass the “hit-by-a-bus” test?

According to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), 40.3 percent of family-owned businesses are looking to retire in the immediate future. However, 47 percent of those same businesses do not have a successor lined up. 

Taking on an established business is a great opportunity for people to build and to be their own boss. On the other hand, identifying a successor can be stressful within a family.

There is a disconnect between those wanting to sell their business and those wanting to take on an established business. The Greater Des Moines Partnership is using this as an opportunity to connect both sides. But first, we want feedback on your succession plans. This online survey will take three minutes and will help us to determine what tools and resources can be offered to assist current and (hopefully) future business owners.


We’ll take the stats and the feedback from the survey to validate how DSM small businesses are succession planning. We want to know if there are any pain points in the success process to help shorten the learning curve.

SPAN team

We’ve put together a Succession Planning Advisory Network (SPAN) made up of individuals with experience in succession planning; either for their own businesses or on behalf of others. They’ll be available to provide assistance and answer questions for businesses looking at the next chapter of ownership.

Those who complete the survey can remain anonymous or opt in to receive a free hour of succession consulting.

Learn about other Succession Planning resources in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter and stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.

Meg Schneider

Meg Schneider is a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in successful nonprofit organizations.