Making plans to transition your business to a new owner or manager means preparing for different eventualities. Even if you have someone in mind to take over for you, your business succession plan could still fail without a comprehensive strategy.
According to The Street, asking yourself some key questions may help you recognize areas your succession plan should address.
What positions will you fulfill?
Some business owners only care about transitioning to a new leader or team of managers. However, you might want a plan in place that replaces employees below the leadership level. If so, you should consider expanding your strategy to address any company positions you care about.
What are dangers to your plan?
Possible threats to the fulfillment of your plan might emerge. Think about what could happen if you stay at your company longer than you expect. Some employees important to your plans might want to retire by then. Contingency plans to replace retiring workers may be necessary.
Additionally, aspects of your business might delay or derail your plan if they decay over time. If your plan depends strongly on the quality of your company equipment, customer relationships or inventory, some improvements may be in order.
Are leadership conflicts possible?
Even if you have a successor in mind, be aware of rivals who might want to be in charge after you are gone, such as siblings or adult children. You might have to discuss your plans with possible heirs and make concessions so no leadership contests erupt following your departure.
While there is no guarantee that you can plan for any leadership conflict, a detailed plan that anticipates and resolves possible problems could make an important difference.