RR 125: Succession Planning Round-Table

Succession planning is a hot topic especially for baby boomer shop owners and for the aspiring entrepreneur who is looking to purchase a successful shop. There is much to consider to prepare the business for the next generation or to find a qualified internal or external buyer. This episode covers a lot of ground to include the experiences of our guests. Listen to an expert, a shop owner who has completed his succession plan and a CFO who is working on a third generation succession plan.


Like all panel discussions this is an extended interview; packed with great information and experiences. You can listen to the audio only or the Face To Face video; you choose.

Why Listen?

Find out why it is important to build a perpetual business, one that succeeds yourself and can run without you. Bob Ward says this strategy takes the stress out of the future and must be in place if ever a tragedy occurs or when it is time to sell.

Learn that having pristine financial statements is important; if you are selling or not.

Learn how much weight a buyer puts on stability and experience in your team.

Trust between members of the facilitation team, the buyers and sellers is critically important.

Our panel:

  • Joe Sevart from I70 Auto Service in Kansas City, MO, received a very high honor from NAPA in 2014 as their NAPA/ASE Technician of the year. He is the Kansas City ASA Chapter president and was an ASA Top Shop in 2010. Joe is proud to say he is a techie-geek. I70 is a 7 bay, 6 lift facility. Listen to Joe in his own episode 50 and in a Technician Mentoring round table episode 93.


  • Bob Ward – President, Wardden LLC, started at the bottom, like most business owners. Bob Ward began his business career at a franchised car dealership, overcoming obstacles to learn and earn the required skills to become Controller, General Manager and then, minority owner of Tacoma Dodge in Washington. A native of Seattle, Bob serves as a financial adviser and consultant to small business owners throughout the United States. He believes that your business should always be ready for expansion or sale, you should get paid for what you’ve built and, when you decide to leave it, your company should continue to prosper. Bob has a great e-book available on his website titled ‘Perpetual Business Guide’. It is well worth the read and to best understand the principles that Bob speaks about in this episode. Wardden LLC Website Newsletter Subscribe


  • Besides growing up in the family business Judy Zimmerman Walter is co-owner with her uncles and the CFO of, this 57-year young service business. Zimmerman’s Automotive, Mechanicsburg, PA is a true blue ‘family enterprise’ with 12 out of a team of 29 team members that are ‘In The Family’. Zimmerman’s is a top automotive repair facility along with a quick lube and a used car division.Among her involvement: Women’s Board of the Car Care Council, Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of PA, and the Auto Care Association (Listen to Judy in her own episode 15 and 74 on catering to the female customer.

Here are a few stats on succession within a family business:

88% of current family business owners believe the same family or families will control their business in five years.

Succession statistics undermine this belief. According to The Family Firm Institute, only about 30% of family and businesses survive into the second generation, 12% are still viable into the third generation, and only about 3% of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation or beyond. There is a disconnect between the optimistic belief of today’s family business owners and the reality of the massive failure of family companies to survive through the generations. Research indicates that failures can essentially be traced to one factor: an unfortunate lack of family business succession planning.

This episode is brought to you by Federal-Mogul Motorparts Episode Logo Sponsored By v1and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust. For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com and fmgaragegurus.com

About the author, Carman

Carm Capriotto is the Founder and Host of Remarkable Results Podcast the only one of its kind in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to engage his guests and provide a great conversational interview.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey to showcase successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results.

Carm also enjoys the time interviewing aftermarket industry thought leaders who make things happen and are difference makers.