I talk at length to my clients about how owning a business should not be thought of as having a job.  It may feel like that at times, however a business should be an answer to what the owner wants from life – owning a business should support you in achieving your personal goals.

Even if an owner isn’t ready to sell or retire, succession planning and transition planning should be a part of every business plan and your business plan should be reviewed at least annually.

A good business plan is not only about ensuring the business is operating at maximum efficiency and effectiveness (although obviously this is really important) but creating a plan to ensure the business is meeting the needs and personal goals of the owner, and the needs of other stakeholders.

Presuming you’re working in the business, succession and transition planning needs to be thought about from three perspectives: yours, stakeholders working in the business, and the business itself.  Having good understanding of these motivations means you are less likely to create anxiety for yourself, staff and family about the future and you can plan appropriately.

Succession planning should be seen as exciting, and an investment in gaining clarity, rather than something to be dreaded. Working with an independent person can help you develop and test your thinking in the first instance.  An effective process should involve all stakeholders and retain the relationships necessary for the business to remain successful – and for the previous and new owners to be happy.

If you would like to talk with a business advisor near you, look through our regional business consultant network, and get in touch.