A written succession plan reassures your employees that your business - and their jobs - will continue.
A smart small-business owner is a forward-thinker. He knows that at some point in the future there may come a time when he needs to pass the reigns of the company onto someone else, whether it's a family member or trusted employee. Succession planning is a logical step for a business owner who wants his company to keep running even when he's no longer able to head up operations.
A succession plan is the method by which a business owner transfers ownership of the business to another party upon his departure, whether it's due to death, retirement or disability. The process also involves the assignment of assets and wealth accumulated by the company.
Like a business plan, a succession plan is important because it gives the owner and her workers a guide for conducting business—only this specific guide pertains to the circumstances that will transpire if the current owner leaves. Without a succession plan the business's fate is uncertain and could be left in the hands of a court. Also, if the business owner has multiple children or family members, it could cause disputes within the family about who should take over the company. One of the major reasons why a succession plan is important is that it helps maintain peace within a family or group of people in case the owner is no longer there to give his opinion in the matter.
Some business owners decide to simply give instructions for the estate manager to sell the business and divide the proceeds among beneficiaries. But other business owners prefer the assurance of knowing that someone will carry on the company's legacy well into the future. A succession plan helps put the latter business owner's mind at ease.
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