How to Create A Succession Plan for Business?

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A succession plan for business provides you with the tools you need to help ensure your business’s continued advancement, and the resourceful Texas succession planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law can help business owners ensure their financial and legal rights are protected.

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If you own a business, you are likely working around the clock and may have put succession planning on the back burner. Much like your estate plan, however, your succession plan for business needs to be addressed prior to your need to implement it. Taking the time to address the matter sooner rather than later can bolster your ability to continue advancing your business while enhancing your peace of mind.

What Is a Succession Plan for Business?

A succession plan for business refers to your strategy for moving leadership in your business – which can mean ownership of your business – forward when the time comes. That time may be when you (or your leadership team) step away to pursue new opportunities, retire, or pass away. Because the future is unpredictable and impossible to control, having a plan in place that addresses your wishes as they relate to your business’s succession is paramount.

Typically, succession planning – also called replacement planning – passes leadership on to either a group of current employees or to one specific employee, and it helps to ensure that your company will continue progressing smoothly forward after whatever precipitating event triggers the succession plan. Succession planning incorporates a cross-training component that allows employees who are positioned for potential leadership positions all of the following (well before a change in leadership is required):

  • An overarching, organic understanding of the business
  • The opportunity to develop a full range of relevant leadership skills
  • The ability to fully embrace the company culture

Developing a Succession Plan for Your Business

Succession planning for your business or company will not look exactly like the succession planning for any other business or company. At its core, a succession plan for business involves the following basics:

  • Evaluating the skills and assets in current leadership
  • Identifying those employees (and/or outside talent) who are potential leadership material
  • Implementing leadership training for those employees who are positioned for potential leadership roles
  • Reevaluating your succession planning efforts to address your company’s changing dynamic and needs
  • Having an emergency succession plan in place that is ready to go in the event that you or another key leader in your business unexpectedly requires replacement (in addition to your long-term plan)

Succession planning is not so much an event as it is a process that should evolve right along with your business.

Understanding Your Unique Business Needs for a Succession Plan

The succession plan for a mom-and-pop shop will vary considerably from the succession plan of a massive corporation. If you are running a small business on your own, your succession plan will likely focus on grooming a member of your family’s next generation – or a long-term employee whom you have mentored – to take over. If, on the other hand, you are the CEO of a large corporation, the board of directors is very likely to oversee the company’s succession planning with you, and there are also employees and shareholders to consider. Regardless of your business’s size, having a plan for inevitable (and perhaps unpredictable) future change is essential, and the visionary Texas succession planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can help.

Recruitment and Training

In the event that leadership in your business needs to do an about-face – whether this relates to you stepping down, to an emergency situation, or to a leadership shift – the best path forward involves avoiding mayhem and fostering a natural progression and evolution of leadership, which requires a succession plan for business that focuses on both recruiting and training potential leadership.

Recruiting Potential Leadership

Recruitment is all about incorporating proactive practices in your hiring protocols – with an eye toward enticing candidates who are a good fit for your company’s evolution and who are motivated to accept the challenges ahead. Sometimes, this means recruiting employees who are bursting with potential at the entry level, and sometimes, this means courting mid-level employees from outside your business who demonstrate the business savvy that you are looking for.

Training Potential Leadership

Regardless of how you acquire the employees whom you are grooming for potential leadership, the grooming process involves training. Your company does a specific kind of work and has a unique mission, culture, and trajectory, and leadership must be attuned to all of this. Training often focuses on ensuring that those rising through the leadership ranks have a close understanding of how every level of the business operates and of how these moving parts mesh.

Why Succession Planning Is Important to Your Business

If you own your own business and experience an emergency situation that requires you to step down in your leadership capacity, the empire that you have built for yourself (regardless of its size) could come to an abrupt halt if you do not have a solid succession plan in place. And if the business you lead is much larger, a sudden change in leadership can set off cascading negative consequences without the appropriate prior planning. With a well-considered succession plan for business in place, however, you can look forward to all of the following:

  • Increased motivation among your employees
  • Greater opportunities for mentorship and the smooth transfer of expertise within your business
  • A clearer focus on career development within your business
  • Greater understanding of your employees’ unique assets and value

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