Be more organized, improve your networking and give back to the community are some common resolutions small business owners make year after year. You may be among those who hope to increase your sales and your own business savvy at the same time over the next 12 months. Maybe you have even added to your list of resolutions a promise to spend less time at work and more time with your family.
One item that is glaringly absent from the lists of goals for many small business owners is the plan to begin preparing for the succession of their businesses. Does this include you? If you have a dream of retiring and passing your business on to the next generation, but have not made a plan to do so, it may be time to revise your resolutions for the coming year.
Succession planning takes years
You are not alone if you find it difficult to think about retiring and letting go of the business you have worked so hard to make successful. Nevertheless, every business owner should plan as early as possible for such an event. Handing control of the business to your son, daughter or trusted employee may feel inevitable. However, without taking the appropriate steps to prepare your successor, your business and your clients, you may set the next generation up for failure. Some important questions to consider include the following:
- Who is most qualified and most interested in taking over the business?
- Does anyone else in the business know how to handle the legal issues such as taxes, liability and licensing?
- Have you taken time to mentor your successor about the management of the business and to oversee that person's efforts at managing?
- Are there vital changes you will have to make in the daily operations when you are no longer at the helm?
- How can you transfer control of the business to the next generation without losing the confidence of your clients?
- Are you ready to begin turning over responsibility to others to allow them the experience of running the business?
Succession of a business is much more than simply handing over your keys. In fact, you may have no idea where to begin to put into motion the steps of this important process. Seeking counsel from an Arizona business attorney may provide you with the answers and advice that can prompt you in the right direction.