Q: I plan to retire in five years and let my daughter run my business. How can I best prepare her to take over?
A: Dear Proud:
Handing the reins of control to a successor is among the most critical tasks business owners face. Yet many put off—or totally ignore—succession planning, which can be a major mistake, especially if the owner suddenly dies or becomes incapacitated.
Since you’ve already chosen a successor, some of the more stressful aspects of succession planning are behind you. But there’s still a lot left to do to provide your daughter with everything she needs for a smooth and successful transition.
The plan should start by detailing the vision, goals, and objectives you foresee for the company’s future. Then you can begin educating her about these ideals and how they relate to your current business model and practices.
Ideally, succession should be implemented in multiple phases over time, so she can slowly take on your responsibilities to get a taste for the job while you’re still there to guide her. And it’s vital the plan include a formal method for monitoring and evaluating her progress.
As with any other business strategy, your plan should be formally documented and legally binding. A Creative Business Lawyer®, can help you prepare such a comprehensive succession plan, so your company will continue to thrive even when you’re no longer in the driver’s seat.