Many people think of succession planning as an event; something that can be handled in one or two meetings. However this is not the case in the majority of situations. Succession planning is a process that can take months or years to properly complete and requires careful consideration of the needs of all stakeholders.
Succession planning in family businesses can be the trickiest of all because family members often find it difficult to be formal with each other. In many cases, the exiting partner is concerned about causing a rift. In these situations, it can be very important to involve a third party who can take the emotion out of the decision. The person that inherits the business should be the person whose skills will best serve the business.
Regardless of who is chosen to take the reins, they should be chosen for the right reasons and groomed to be successful in the job. And once they have been chosen, groomed and provided all of the assistance they need to run the business the ‘old guard ‘ should leave it to the new. It is very important that the successor be allowed to make their mark.
So, when is the right time to move on? That’s a question that only you can answer. Chronological age has nothing to do with it. Motivation levels, passion for the business and ability to do the job effectively has everything to do with it.
Owen Joyce wrote a book about the experience he gained starting, growing and successfully exiting a business in a multi-million dollar sale. If you’d like a free copy of this book, click here.