For school bus contractors who spend decades building their student transportation businesses, the idea of retirement can spark conflicting feelings. Your hard work and legacy deserve a well-thought-out succession plan, but the daily responsibilities of pupil transportation mean it’s easy to set aside. You might also be unsure of your best options, including how long and how deeply you want to remain involved in your business as your succession plan unfolds.

Succession plans offer many benefits

While carving out time and energy for a succession plan may seem challenging, our experts recommend creating one well in advance of its implementation. One of the best ways to do this is by partnering with an organization that has the resources and expertise to help you make the best financial and personal choices for your student transportation business.

We’ve compiled just some of the benefits of a robust succession plan, and why they’re so important to school bus contractors.

Ensure continuity of operations

The primary reason for a succession plan is to ensure continuity of operations. Without a plan in place, the sudden departure of a key team member – including yourself – could leave your school bus business in disarray. With all you’ve put into building a reputable business, the risk of not having a plan is too great. Your succession plan ensures that there is a clear path for ownership and continued operations over time. This helps to minimize disruptions and maintain the trust of your community.

Protect your business’s value

A succession plan also helps to protect the value of your student transportation business. An owner who has not planned for retirement or unexpected events may be forced to sell quickly, resulting in an unfortunately low sale price. With a plan in place, you can map out the sale of your school bus business, ensure it’s received a realistic valuation, and maximize its value. It also gives you time to choose a successor who understands the student transport industry and will keep your business running profitably.

Manage tax implications

Another protective aspect of a succession plan is its assistance in managing tax implications. Without a thoughtful financial strategy in place – part of any good succession plan – the sale of your business at retirement time could trigger significant taxes. A succession plan helps you consider your options and structure the sale of your school bus business in a tax-efficient manner. This can help minimize costs and maximize your proceeds.

Provide peace of mind

This might be the most important benefit of all. With the right plan in place, a student transportation contractor has peace of mind knowing the business is prepared for the future. Once in place, it frees you up to focus on running your business, prepared for retirement – or perhaps even an advisory role – with the confidence that the students in your community will continue to have safe, reliable access to education.

Next steps: Contact us

American Student Transportation Partners (ASTP) is driving the future of student transportation.

ASTP is a national network of trusted transportation partners ensuring access to education through safe, reliable student transportation programs. Exceptional bus operators choose ASTP because of our innovative approach to partnership, as well as the resources we provide to help “future-proof” their operations.

To learn more about partnering with ASTP, contact Tod Eskra, President, at [email protected] or (314) 560-5946.