Succession Planning to Safeguard Long-term Business Sustainment

Succession planning is a vital, yet often undervalued process for many small entrepreneurial businesses. However it is something that is absolutely necessary for long-term business sustainment. This isn’t just something that is required at the highest levels, but should be considered for every single level of your business.

Further, it’s important to understand that while succession planning is crucial, most small companies do not have a comprehensive strategy. In fact, a recent CFIB poll shows that only 9% of Canadian small business owners have a formal succession plan.

A Quality Network Plays a Large Role in a Succession Plan

For every job you have in an organization, no matter the size, you have to have a bench of players ready to pick up the slack. I have spent years building and maintaining relationships with people to allow my business to have access to talent, should the need arise. If a president of a company decides to leave, for whatever reason, I have a pool of people I can approach to step in.

When looking at your company, you also need to look at transitioning individual roles. Succession isn’t simply about filling a spot when someone leaves, but rather about having the most qualified person in a spot at all times.

Consider this scenario:

You have just grown your local hardware business to now include a successful line of home decoration products. In doing so, you have doubled your sales in the past 12 months. Your current back-end staff simply cannot handle the newly expanded job and increased demands of inventory. This is when you have to look at your team to determine your next steps to keep in stride with the business needs.

Do you simply hire an extra body to help ease the transition, do you redefine roles, or both?

By having a bench of players at the ready, you are better able to make the decisions that will positively impact your business. This mean you won’t have to jump to a band-aid solution for a quick fix.

Internal Succession Planning as an Employee Retainment Strategy

Succession planning starts with first understanding your business goals. Then you identify key players, either internally or externally, who can help you meet those goals. Succession Planning should never be thought of as a hassle or as a negative facet of any business. In fact, succession planning can be used as an internal recruitment and development tool for most businesses.

Through a succession planning process, you will find that you now retain your best employees because they appreciate the time, attention, and development that you are investing in them. Employees who feel valued are more motivated and engaged to continue their career path with your organization, whether that be laterally or upwards.

Regardless of the size of your business, a succession plan through the development of a bench of players will help you avoid panic hiring and disruption to your business. If you haven’t already, talk with your team about the talent you have on-hand and where you can supplement, if required. That first step will help you identify gaps within your business and your next steps to filling those critical gaps before it becomes an immediate need.

About Roy Murad

Roy Murad is a father, husband, business advisor, investor, advocate for new business ventures, and consummate entrepreneur. Over the course of 35 years building businesses, guiding companies and identifying strong investment opportunities, while nurturing a thriving family, Roy Murad has amassed a wealth of experience; experience, that may be of value to others who are looking to shape a balanced and successful life experience.

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