The 9 Key Players of Succession Planning

For a plan to be successful, the right players need to be involved. With succession planning, this includes a variety of stakeholders from inside and outside the business. Each will play a critical role in helping to ensure a smooth transition. Below are nine key players to consider in your succession planning.

1. Family

If you’re handing the company off to a family member, they should be involved in the business as early as possible so they’re prepared to take over. However, even when there’s no plan for a family member to take charge, it’s still important to include them in the decisions, as the business will impact them too.

2. Management

Whether your management team is made up of one person or a team of ten, they’re the backbone of your company. They know the processes and systems, your team members, and how to ensure the company continues functioning efficiently.

3. Staff

Although your entire team won’t need to be involved in the planning stages, keeping your staff informed is important. If there are changes to the company, they should know how it’ll affect them and how you’ll ease the transition.

4. Banks and Financers

While these players won’t make decisions regarding the direction of your business, they have a significant say in the funding you’ll need to operate. Many banks offer succession planning advice, including financing options for family and management planning if the business is purchased from you. They’ll also be able to provide you with current industry and economic information, which will contribute to any financial decision.

5. Accountants

Your accountant will be an integral part of assessing how much your business is worth. They’ll also inform you of tax implications or ways to reduce taxation if you sell your business.

6. Lawyers

Your lawyer will play one of the most critical roles in succession planning. They’ll draft any purchase or sale agreements, prepare wills, help with power of attorney, set up trusts, and offer advice on anything to do with tax and business restructuring.

7. Business Brokers

Business brokers are like realtors. Their job is to find you a buyer and help prepare your business for sale. They’ll help value your business and offer advice on how to make it look more attractive to buyers.

8. Facilitators

You may want to employ a facilitator to help guide the process. They’ll help define your goals, discuss potential hurdles, identify necessary resources, highlight key risks, and offer alternatives. Family Enterprise Canada offers great resources if you plan to keep the business in the family.

9. You

Possibly the most crucial person in this process is you. You’ll need to make yourself available to work on the plan, speak to key players, and provide the necessary information to assemble it. You need to be invested in the plan and planning process to succeed.

This list isn’t exhaustive, you may need extra people to help you get the job done. Whatever your team looks like, remember to keep communication open and honest with all players. This way, everyone understands the process and why it’s important to you and the organization.

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SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.