Is Your Business Ready for the What Ifs? Succession Planning Is the Key

As South Florida works through yet another hurricane season, it’s time to focus on succession planning for your business. The way the weather can whip through and change anything in this area can be a good wake up call for business owners. Do you have a way to sustain your business should something happen to you, as the business owner? If not, you could be putting your business, not to mention every employee’s job and your family’s financial well being on the line.

When Was the Last Time You Took Off?

Have you taken a family trip lately? Though you may have the finances to take the European cruise you’ve dreamed about since you were young, the thought of being out of the business’s immediate care for two weeks or more may send chills up and down your spine. If you don’t have anyone you trust to simply step in and run things the way you want to without your presence, you are missing a key component to successful business management.

Do You Have a Succession Plan?

No matter if you are talking about taking a few weeks off, or stepping out of the picture for a longer period of time, you should have a plan in place to make it happen. Without one, your business may not remain as functional as you would like. A succession plan is a tool designed by those running the company to state who is in charge and responsible for various activities should you be unable to do so.
Do you, like many others, not think you will ever need such a plan? Perhaps you believe that once it’s your time to go, there will not be a need for you to worry about the business. Think again.
#1 – What happens if you are involved in an accident or you become suddenly ill? What happens if you cannot, for some reason, be unable to do your job? Who is going to keep the company operational for you?
#2 – Though you may not want to think about it, eventually you may decide to leave the company. You may decide you need to retire. Then what?
Keeping this in mind, you need to consider what your goals and needs are in such a situation. Generally, a business owner needs to have someone on his or her side to trust to handle the process of putting a success plan into place. You need someone within the company to handle the application of this plan.
You also need to have a succession plan. It’s best to have one formally completed. Then, be sure that anyone involved in the process fully understands that there is a plan and what that plan includes.

How to Plan for Your Business

Depending on your role in the company as well as if there is a board of directors or other management or ownership, you may need to come together to create such a plan. There can be a lot of politics involved in this situation. Ultimately, the plan needs to provide a foundation of what happens next. In other words, it needs to be a specific, actionable plan that specifically states:
  • Who is in charge if you are not?
  • Who’s responsibility is it to put the plan in place?
  • What is the long-term goals of managing the company if you cannot come back to your position?
  • What ownership changes should occur, if any?
  • When such a plan should go into effect
If you do not have this type of outline yet, it is time to hire a professional to handle the creation of it for you. Perhaps you do not know who will fill in for you. You may need to hire a firm to handle the process or the management of you organization for you. The bottom line is simple. Your organization should not be without some type of plan in case something happens to you. Do you have such a plan in place right now?

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