Founders are key to businesses. Without their vision, daring, risk-taking, and ability to identify the market opportunity there would be no business to begin with. However, like economic cycles, ideas for new products, and other things which help a business grow over time and provide a reliable income for the founder, his or her family, and those who invested in the initial capital help bring it to fruition.
Planning for the Future of Your Business
Similar to many others, founders must face their literal and professional end. To that end, succession planning is crucial for every business leader. Below are five things to consider during succession planning:
- It is a requirement, not an option. While most founders try to choreograph their succession perfectly, so many encounter a situation where events move quickly and their anticipated move to the Golden Years of retirement may have either been accelerated due to market conditions or postponed due to the need for a steady hand at the till. There is no time like today to get your succession plan started in order to save your business a hassle and headache down the road.
- Identify potential company leaders early on and begin to groom them. For many founders, there is always a potential second in command in the back of their mind who could in theory one day take the reigns of the business. However, expecting someone to just step into the role of head of the business without any sort of training or preparation is not only unreasonable, it is irresponsible for the business. Working to expand that person’s duties over time will do you and your business good so it is not a total surprise when they are asked to lead.
- Develop a plan. The most important part of succession planning is in fact a plan. One unified document where you can consult both the structure of your business and the overall plan is crucial to your business’ survival in the short and long term. Without a plan with input from key stakeholders, your business will suffer. Our auditing services can help you better prepare your business for succession.
- Incorporate important elements. There are various elements that a succession plan will have to ensure are present such as input from Human Resources, if applicable, on the internal legal onboarding and separation ability and if such must occur in a particular timeframe. Also ensure that this plan is driven from the top down and aligned with business goals as a plan not fully endorsed by senior management will only be disregarded until the proverbial new sheriff is in town. Finally, ensure that future leaders are trained in communication and employee relations as, one day, it will be them who employees look to for leadership in times both good and bad.
- Follow up and do a refresher. You should continue to follow up on both the substance of the plan and who is listed in the plan. A refresher to align it with business priorities is always helpful in addition to ensuring the leaders listed are still with the company.
Contact MKS&H Today
No matter what form your succession plan takes, make sure to begin planning today for your future tomorrow. Contact us today to get started.