If you don’t plan for your business’s future now, obstacles that the company could theoretically overcome could result in its dissolution. For example, as the owner or an executive of the organization, you need to think about what would happen to the business if you were to suddenly leave.
Whether you have an unplanned lengthy absence necessitated by a car crash or you begin transitioning out of work for retirement, the company will need to make major changes if it wants to continue operating after you leave. Your succession plan helps the business continue operating when you are not there to manage everything.
What should your succession plan include?
Daily operations and job responsibilities
Especially if you started the company and no one has ever held your position there before, other people may not understand what your job actually entails. Creating a thorough explanation of your job responsibilities and the skills or education that you required to handle those responsibilities will be one of the most important steps in the creation of your succession plan.
Training suggestions or replacement candidates
Ideally, someone creating a succession plan will have candidates in mind to take over their position when they leave the company. Naming several people within the organization that you believe could fulfill your role could help those taking over in an emergency or managing a transition make a better choice. If there isn’t a specific person, then you may want to provide guidelines or basic criteria that would facilitate the selection of an appropriate candidate when the time comes.
Key information not shared or documented elsewhere
You may have information about the business or its plans that are not written down anywhere else. From the passwords to the company’s online bank accounts to the full list of clients that you service, there may be crucial information that you need to preserve in your succession plan to ensure it passes effectively to the person taking over your position later.
In addition to a succession plan that discusses the person who will take over your role and the future of the company, you may also need to address your interest in the company in your estate plan to arrange for the transfer of your ownership interest to other individuals. Creating the right documents, including a personal estate plan and necessary business paperwork like succession plans, will help those invested in a business protect that company regardless of what the future holds.