Succession planning is an integral part of small businesses. Once a family run business gets established, the partner or the owner should think about a succession plan. You should think about it at this juncture since it is not supposed to be a knee jerk reaction to an emergency. It is supposed to be a well thought out plan to select the best succession plan.
A successor is at the focal point of it all. So, you need to select a successor first and then think about succession. This is because even if someone in your family appears to be a perfect fit, he may not turn out to be so. However, to understand that, you need to give him or her some time. You need to let the selected person settle down into the business and then gauge his or her performance.
The main point here is that it is a time-consuming affair, often running into 10 to 15 years. This is why you need to start succession planning process now.
Here is a quick overview of the succession planning process.
Step by Step Succession Planning Process in Choosing the Perfect Successor
Here is a step by step guide to succession planning.
- Being Proactive About Succession Planning
It takes time for business people to let the feeling sink in that they will need a replacement for the future. You need a successor, and finding a promising candidate for that role is not an easy task. This is why you need to be proactive with the process of selection. Even if you dither in planning to replace yourself in the future, do prepare someone to assume office in your absence. If you need temporary financing or operations person, you can get it from the market.
- Keeping an Open Mind
Situations may arise when the second in command turns out to be a worthy successor. Don’t disregard promising employees even if you cannot see them eye to eye. They may turn out to be assets for the business. So, look out for people with the best skills so that they can thrive in higher positions; there must not be any preconceived notion.
- Getting a Vision for the Future
Though you cannot choose the outcome of a selection, you can surely draw up a vision for the future. To do that, take potential employees in confidence and let them acquire leadership and planning skills and draw up a vision for the business and its objectives.
- Maintaining a Top Performer File
During the day to day business performance, you may come across things like good presentation skills, excellent performance in a project or something else. Keep track of all these individual achievements and confidentially maintain a top-performer file. This lets you exercise an option to promote the cause of individual top performer employees.
- Train Potential Candidates
After years of observation and watching over potential candidates, you need to make a coterie of potential candidates. Select such groups and provide the right training to them. Let them acquire new skills. The best among them may well be your successor.
Succession Planning is one of the most effective ways for a company to succeed in the future.