Even though the construction industry’s overall economic outlook for 2021-2022 is difficult to predict, many construction businesses were lucky enough to perform quite well over the past 16 months despite the pandemic, and they continue to maintain solid project backlogs. Yet many others were not so fortunate, and they will continue to struggle in the coming months. But there still is another overriding problem that the industry must solve.
With all Baby Boomers rapidly approaching retirement age, construction professionals should be asking, “What are we doing to expand our workforce and embed the vast Baby Boomer knowledge and expertise into our industry?” Likewise, construction company owners and leaders should be asking, “What do we need to focus on during the next three to five years to ensure the future growth and market value of our businesses and talent?” The article recently published by Construction Executive, “Five Objectives for Construction Leaders Before Retirement,” does an excellent job framing these critical issues.
Business owners who are looking to exit the construction industry during the next five to ten years will have several viable options to consider, including the sale or transfer of their business interests to senior management, family members, strategic equity partners, or an ESOP, depending upon the unique circumstances and priorities of each.
If the owner of a construction business is focused on maximizing his or her retirement assets, then selling to an outside buyer may provide the most lucrative option. But many business owners and leaders are more interested in making sure that their loyal employees and family members are taken care of by trying to retain the business within a successful family-owned or closely held business enterprise.
Many of us have worked our entire careers with the goal of securing the future for our families and dearest friends. Now is the time for all of us to make sure we have best-of-class business succession and retirement plans in place.