Many of life’s toughest lessons are learned the hard way. And for Laurie Spencer, president of Spencer Roofing in Walled Lake, Mich., such lessons couldn’t have come under more dire circumstances. Following the sudden death of her husband, Dave Spencer, in 2012, Laurie made the decision to leave behind a successful career as a salon owner, and take over Dave’s roofing business. She was met with many challenges, as Dave hadn’t left behind a will, trust, succession plan or life insurance policy. To start, Laurie asked attendees to stand up as she read a list of different aspects, and if you didn’t have one of this aspects in place in your business, you were instructed to sit down. The aspects included all of the aforementioned documents, as well as a builder’s license, and more. After she finished the sixth and final item, 100 percent of the room was seated. She explained in addition to making eventual business decisions, you’re also left with making funeral arrangements, plans for organ donation and more.
Spencer then gave a brief overview of the business decisions that needed to happen immediately, including who’s going to contact all of the necessary parties and alert them and, most importantly, who’s going to take over the business. Laurie reflected on her struggles, heartache and challenges faced throughout the entire process to attendees in hopes of preparing everyone in the off chance that it happens to them.