It probably took you decades to get your business to where it is today.

So it makes sense that, although you’re retiring, you want to leave it in the best possible hands. You may even maintain a stake in its operation, which makes it even more important that the company continues to do well.

This is why you can’t take succession planning for granted. Choosing your successor will have everything to do with your company’s future success (or lack thereof).

4 Essential Steps for Planning a Successful Succession

Fortunately, if you take the following four simple steps, you should find that planning a successful succession doesn’t need to be an overwhelming challenge.

1. Begin Planning Early

Obviously, the sooner you begin planning for a successor, the better.

Some owners have long known whom they want taking over for them, so they feel comfortable with very little planning at all.

But what if the person turns down the role?

What if something should happen that precludes them from accepting it?

There’s also the fact that, even if you think you already have the best candidate in mind, early planning may prove there are others worth considering.

2. Ask Trusted Sources for Constructive Criticism

One reason planning for succession often fails is because the head of a company automatically assumes they should find someone just like them. After all, they started the business and made it a success.

However, it’s possible that you could have some shortcomings, so think about where your weaknesses are and look for a candidate who doesn’t have them.

If you’re feeling really brave, ask trusted employees or long-term business partners and clients where they think you could improve. This will give you a great sense for what to look for in your successor.

3. Think About Vacancies That Will Arise

If you do decide to promote from within, think about what kinds of vacancies that may cause.

In many ways, this means going through the above practice with other positions in your company. Don’t just think about the competencies the new CEO will need.

For example, if you’re promoting your Head of Marketing, think about who will fulfill that role and what skills that successor will need to do a better job.

4. Consider an Interim Candidate

Ideally, you want as much time as possible to groom your successor. That’s why it’s vital you start planning early.

Of course, you’ve probably been planning for retirement for some time now, too.

Eventually, it might make sense to name an interim candidate who can keep operations in a holding pattern until the right person is found. You can stay on as a consultant to help with this while enjoying more free time as a retiree.

Whatever you do, don’t give the official position to someone just because the clock is ticking on your retirement.

You Don’t Have to Plan for Success on Your Own

At Mooney Lyons, we appreciate that planning for a succession isn’t easy. You have a lot riding on this decision.

Unfortunately, even with the help of trusted sources, it can be easy to make a costly mistake during this important process.

Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can put our years of experience to use ensuring that you leave your business in good hands.