How to Find Peace of Mind When Choosing a Successor for Your Business.

Business Succession Planning: Making the life-changing decision to retire from the business you have spent your career building can feel daunting. It comes with so many questions to consider: what will you do with your time in retirement? Will you have enough income to meet your needs?  But the most emotionally fraught question of all might be who is the right person to leave in charge of your business? After all, this is your life’s work! You don’t want to pick someone who’s not up to the job, or who will steer the company too far from the vision and core values you built it with. How do you choose without damaging relationships within your company or perhaps even your own family?

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates, you’ll still need to do some serious vetting to make sure you find the right fit. This process will be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be agonizing or cause strain on important relationships. Here are three steps to keep the drama out of your business succession journey.

1. Business Succession: Keep Your Eye on the Future

When evaluating top candidates, look beyond their track record to their ability to pivot and evolve. Think about what upcoming challenges your business may face, and how each candidate might handle them. Ask about their own plan to transition out leadership in their current role. Who has the better plan, and the best shot at executing it?

2. Put Their Vision to the Test

If your candidates have great ideas to grow your business (and they should) start trying a few out before making your final decision. What do these ideas look like in execution? How do your candidates handle leadership? This will help you see if they can truly lead the way you hope and expect they will.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Trust Them

While it’s important to put your top candidates to the test, you will ruin relationships if you play mind games. If they feel you are being cagey with valuable information they’ll need to do their job, they may get the idea you don’t trust them, and that could affect their performance or push them to look for work elsewhere. Let them in on top-level conversations about problems, challenges, or other developments within the company so they know what they’re getting into. See how they handle it. Nothing beats on-the-job training.

If you’ve run your company well and built a great team, you most likely have a stable of all-star internal candidates who would make a great successor. While you’ll want to put a rigorous interview process in place, making this crucial choice shouldn’t involve toying with your top employees’ minds or emotions. Taking the right steps will help you make a clear-headed decision to protect your legacy and allow the employees and clients you’re leaving behind to thrive in an exciting new era for your business.

Protect Your Future. Grow Your Business.

Most business owners haven’t established succession plans for themselves or their key employees. We’ve created a step-by-step process to help you develop and document clear transition plans. When you have succession plans, your team is confident, your future is safe, and your company will prosper for years to come. 

  • Succession Planning
  • Continuity Planning 
  • Transition Planning

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