By Lyndsey Hall
In all successful businesses the issue of succession from the current owner to the next generation comes up, and one question that often arises is: when is the most appropriate time to begin planning for succession? The start-up phase is obviously too early, but all too often business owners wait until the last minute – when many options are closed to you before you’ve even begun the process.
Preparing for a successful business transition
There are generally seven stages of business succession:
Once the business has survived the start-up stage, you should begin giving consideration to succession, regardless of your age.
You must commit to the concept that the business has to continue in order to create opportunity for those to come. This commitment must be communicated extensively and often so as to prepare your team for the future.
The organisation cannot survive unless it is staffed with the best people. Recruiting good people will always pay dividends and is a key item in succession planning.
Investing time in developing your family members and other management team members, and allowing them to exercise authority and control, is key to a successful transition.
Having developed a successful transition plan and recruited the right people, selecting a successor or successors becomes easier. By empowering a broad range of key people, the selection process is simplified and options are enhanced.
Having come this far, it is time to announce your future plans. This gives key management people and family successors a clear path to the future and a definite goal.
In implementing the succession plan, you must be ready to step aside and allow your successors to take over. You need to be confident to take on new challenges in retirement knowing that your financial future is secure.
Do you have a plan in place for your own business transition? If you’re just starting to think about moving on, or you’d like to plan ahead for a future sale or handover, join our MD Steve Knowles on 4 Aug for a webinar on Valuing your Business for Sale. Steve will be joined by John Crayford from Intelligent Business Transition to discuss the key steps of preparing your business for sale, and they will be answering all your questions on the transition process.
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