Keep the Business Going: Creating a Business Succession Plan

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Whether your business is family-owned or managed by partners, one of the things that you should prioritize is the continuity of the operations. In most cases, a business might struggle and face some troubles when the head is absent due to resignation and other reasons. This is why you must plan the succession within your business.

Succession planning is not just about passing on leadership roles to another member of the company. It also comes with benefits, such as the proper transfer of knowledge and wisdom. When someone gets promoted, the rest of the chain will move, thus sending a message of empowerment to your employees as they see that advancement is possible.

Planning your company’s succession can be tricky, especially if you are not working with partners, such as business continuity consulting firms. Nevertheless, here are some important pointers that you should consider:

Where is the business heading?

Before you create any plan, you should determine where your company is standing today. The success that it enjoys right now is all thanks to the leaders and the employees. With that, you need to make sure the successor will have the same outlook for the future. Consider holding a meeting to ensure that the possible successors and the board are on the same page. Otherwise, there can be heated debates and misunderstandings in the future that might tear the business apart.

Spot the candidates

Succession does not happen overnight. Long before the leader or top decision-maker resigns or leaves the company, you should be already spotting or listing down the possible successors. The candidates should be among the most capable people running the company. If you have quite a long list of candidates, consider giving each of them more serious responsibilities. That way, you will be able to judge who can perform under immense pressure and come up with practical decisions on crucial matters. If you think that there are no possible candidates in your company, consider getting an outsider.

Start a mentoring program

Once you have a list of possible successors, you need to develop a mentoring program that will give each of them new skills essential to becoming the company’s biggest decision-maker. You can be the main mentor, but you can always hire consultants that have a track record of grooming leaders. Besides giving them a review of the company’s ins and outs, you also need to introduce them to suppliers and other business partners. When developing the mentoring program, it is important that you also seek your possible successors’ input.

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Make some adjustments to the plan

The succession plan is essentially a living plan. It is not set in stone, as many would like to think. It can have changes, depending on the current situation. Many factors can affect the succession plan, such as unexpected and rapid company growth, changes in the industry, and adjustments in the tax laws affecting corporate policies. The downsizing of the company and your decision, as the owner or top leader, will also need to be considered.

Form a committee

You can’t simply appoint someone you want, especially if your company is public. You need to be transparent, which is why it is always wise to form a committee. The said committee will not only screen the possible successors, but they can also facilitate the transition when the time comes.

On to a smoother transition

In the end, succession in business is not always seamless. There will be a few glitches now and then. But keeping these from happening is still possible. You need to understand your goals and plan the available resources.

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