Every business owner will one day move on from their company. It may be a small two-person proprietorship, or it could be a well-oiled machine working with thousands of clients and hundreds of employees. Eventually, though, it will be time for an owner to move on, and without a succession plan in place, the company may suffer. Here are five tips to aid you in building your succession plan:
Choose your successor.
Finding the right person to lead your company into the future isn’t easy. It requires understanding what your company will need for tomorrow. You might have many people you trust to manage things as you would today. But the world will be quite different in the future, and you want to put a person in charge who can anticipate and change with the times.
Choose your time frame.
When you’ve developed an idea for moving on, you need to set a firm timeline for everyone involved. A lack of clarity can lead to frustrations that may derail your plans. The firmer you are with your planned exit, the easier it will be in the long run.
Choose your training program.
Whoever you choose to take over will have to understand the needs of the business from a whole new perspective. That perspective is and remains yours until you leave. You’ll need to develop a training program that shows your successor how all of this works as you move toward your next step.
Learn to let go.
Once you’ve trained your replacement, you must step away once the timeline has reached its end. The only way you and your company can move forward is if you are prepared to let it go.
Remember, you are not your business.
A struggle for many business owners is the difficulty in understanding where they and their businesses begin and end. Many owners have spent an entire career being their business’s brand. Now, it’s time to build something new, whether it is retirement or a new company, which is your choice.
Make no mistake. You’ll have many difficult choices to make as you plan for the next chapter of your business, and it’s a tough job, but you can do it.