Many otherwise astute business owners drag their feet when it comes to establishing a viable business succession plan for the future when they are no longer the one in control. Whether it’s fear of facing their own mortality or otherwise, this can create many problems for those left behind to sweep up the pieces.
The popular HBO Max series Succession pits the Roys, a fictional billionaire family at their dysfunctional best, against one another for control of the family’s media company. While the show certainly is entertaining, few business owners would want to see their own much-loved heirs battling it out one day.
Plan your business succession plan well ahead of need
The best business succession plans are thorough and cover all angles of the company and its key employees. The last thing a company needs is for its value to drop due to a lack of business continuity or a leadership crisis of any sort.
What if there is no clear successor?
That situation is actually fairly common (and forms the premise of the HBO show). The business owner and/or board of directors can put in place an immediate plan to identify which skills, knowledge and training should be present in any viable candidate. With that type of talent pipeline already in place, suitable employees can be poised to step up when the need arises. For many small to medium size business there are not any employees that will be able to lead the business and the succession plan may be a short term plan of how (and who) will oversee the business operation and then hiring someone from outside to operate the business. Others may have a plan in place for the sale of the business. Like WIlls and Estate Planning, the succession plan needs to be both a long term plan and an emergency plan if an expected event happens and the plan needs to be implemented currently and not years in the future.
One way to avoid a combative environment on the leadership ladder is to structure your business succession plan to advance certain positions rather than people when a vacancy occurs. Then, the person waiting in the wings will not be suddenly sprung on your organization. They will instead have the specialized knowledge and background to provide a seamless transition when it is most needed.
Draft a professional business succession plan
Responsible business owners can learn more about how to draft a solid business succession plan well before there is a need. This assures the continuity of the company and its mission. Contact us today to learn how to get started.