Top Tips for a Business Succession Plan

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When you own your own business, it can easily begin to feel as though there exists a never ending – or viciously cyclical – list of things that require your immediate and full attention. As such, that other list brimming with items that are not quite so demanding, but still important in their own right, tends to go months – or even years – without receiving much in the way of attention.

Unfortunately, one thing that tends to slip far too low on any business owner’s To Do list is creating an effective succession plan for the company. While it may seem like an unnecessary chore at this stage in your career, however, it remains a pressing issue. Read our top tips for creating one, below.

Remember that it is Never too Soon to Create a Plan

It is all too easy to put off making a succession plan, but it remains central to the business’s plan for continuity. If you were to fall ill or pass away unexpectedly, then the business would be left in disarray, with no clear path forward, and no one person prepared to lead the way down that path.

The potential for an interruption to your ability to tend to the needs of your business is not limited to any one demographic; whether you consider yourself to be perfectly fit and healthy, or simply too young to need to worry about the possibility of the business needing to continue on without you, the fact remains that the business is always at risk if it is not supported by a comprehensive and carefully considered succession plan.

Invest in Talent as and When it Walks Through the Door

A large part of running a business is learning how to recognise, acquire, and retain employees who are of true benefit to the company – not only in terms of their abilities day to day, but in terms of their abilities to lead and reshape the company for the better.

This is, of course, the sort of person you want supporting your company into the indefinite future, and as a business owner it is part of your responsibility to the business as-a-whole to invest in these employees, ensure scope for growth within the company, and prepare them for a long-term position of high standing within the company.

It is all well and good deciding to create a succession plan for the business, but without valuable employees to take the reins, your plan will fall flat when it is called into question.

Making a Legally Valid Will

Ensuring that your assets pass onto the people you intend for is central to both your personal and professional interests, which means that, for any business owner or shareholder, there is a certain amount of overlap between what goes into your succession plan, and what makes it into your will.

Any personal investment you have made into the company must be properly accounted for when you begin the process of creating a will alongside an experienced solicitor, and stipulated clearly within the contents of the document in order to ensure that your loved ones receive what is rightfully theirs. In the absence of clear instruction, this asset could be lost in the scramble to ensure business continuity in your absence, and may never be made available to support your family after your death.