By Bridget McCrea
Passing the torch to a new leader is never easy, particularly for long-time owners, principals, presidents, vice presidents, and managers. Here are seven do’s and don’ts to consider when developing and implementing succession plans:
- Do gain a clear vision of your goals and constraints for succession planning before developing a plan.
- Do create scenario alternatives for ownership succession transitions.
- Do rank those scenario alternatives based on your preferences and constraints.
- Do build a business case on your preferred alternative and make sure that it is realistic.
- Do augment your planning process with an outside advisory firm with strong expertise in this area to guide you through the process.
- Don’t wait. Start thinking about succession planning at least 5-10 years ahead. Time is your enemy. (Like savings, if you start putting away $1 a week as a child and do it consistently, you’ll be far better off than the person who tries to save it all 5 years before retirement.)
- Don’t do it alone. While business owners are excellent at starting, building, and managing firms, exiting requires a completely different skill set. Trying to do successful succession planning without proper guidance will almost always fail.