Business woman making business succession plans with somebody, shaking hands.
Blog Post

What is Succession Planning?

  • Date Posted: September 20, 2023

Succession planning is a critical aspect of long-term business strategy that often goes overlooked until it becomes an urgent necessity. A succession plan establishes and formalizes all the elements that make a business run in legal documentation, preparing it to show its strength to anyone – buyer, banker, broker, or successor. Plans also protect the company and prepare owners to grow, expand, or buy businesses rather than worrying about the unexpected. It’s a proactive approach to ensuring the seamless transition of leadership and talent within your company. In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into what succession planning is and why it’s essential for the future of your business.

The two key questions are: What do you want to happen in unexpected circumstances? And then, what do you want the future of the business to look like?

Succession planning is a strategic process that involves:

  • Identifying Key Positions: The first step is to identify critical roles within your organization that are essential for its ongoing success. These roles could include executive positions, department heads, or individuals with specialized skills crucial to your business.
  • Identifying Potential Successors: Once key positions are identified, the next step is to pinpoint potential successors. These individuals may be current employees who exhibit the necessary skills, experience, and potential to step into these roles in the future.
  • Developing Talent: Succession planning is not just about identifying successors; it also involves developing these individuals to ensure they have the skills and knowledge required to excel in their future roles. This may include training, mentoring, and providing growth opportunities.
  • Creating a Transition Plan: A well-structured succession plan outlines the specific steps and timeline for transitioning from the current leader to the successor. It includes clear guidelines and expectations for the transfer of responsibilities and authority.
  • Monitoring and Adjusting: Succession planning is an ongoing process. It requires continuous monitoring and adjustment as circumstances change within your organization. This might involve updating your list of potential successors, revising development plans, or adapting the transition timeline.

These are big questions, often with many unknowns, but our free Business Succession Guide will help you answer them by taking you through the four primary steps in succession and planning.