Bill Yeargin, CEO of the custom boat company Correct Craft and author of the book Education of a CEO, wrote about gray rhino risks, both past and present, in his industry in an article for the Trade Only website entitled “Charge of the Gray Rhinos” and published January 10, 2022.
“Our team has reviewed a lot of deals where the business owner (the seller) ignored a gray rhino until it was too late,” Yeargin wrote. “By the time I met with the owner, he was trying to sell a company that either had a gray rhino charging or the damage already was done, leaving the company a shell of its past self. The decision to ignore the risk significantly reduced the value of the company, which is often also the accumulation of the seller’s lifetime of work.”
What are his top worries today? Technological change, retail market normalization, employee acquisition and retention, leadership succession, and consumer demands for social responsibility.