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A successful succession for your business

If you run your own business, you may have goals that extend beyond making money and selling your product or service. Your plans may include creating a legacy, especially if you inherited the business or intend to pass it along to your children. However, building a legacy often takes a lifetime of effort, and part of that effort is having a strong plan for your business when you are ready to let go of the reins.

You may have an idea of what you would like to see happen when you are no longer CEO. Perhaps you intend for your son or daughter to take over the business, or you are grooming a promising employee for the leadership role. While those plans may seem wonderful in your imagination, there are important steps involved in bringing them to reality.

Assembling a team

One important factor in creating a plan of succession is allowing others to participate in its development and execution. Many successful Ohio business owners find that their board of directors plays a critical role in this undertaking. If your business is small, you may assemble a task force - comprised of stakeholders both within and outside of the business - specifically for planning for your exit. Either entity can help with many elements of the process, including:

  • Developing internal candidates
  • Recruiting external candidates
  • Creating and tweaking the succession timeline
  • Holding you accountable for the progress of the plan and its contingencies

For the best results and the smoothest transition, having these bodies at work on a business succession plan as early as possible is ideal.

A vital part of your plan

Once you have written down the plan for the successor of your company, it is best not to keep it a secret. In fact, business advisors say that your transparency in this matter creates a higher level of trust and security among your employees. Your workers may also feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts on the plan you have created and to participate in its ongoing refinement.

As you take these important steps to protect the legacy and integrity of your company, you can't overestimate the value of solid legal advice. An attorney with experience in all facets of business law can explain the legal options available to you. Adding a legal professional to your team will ensure that the best interests of you and your company are served well.

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