Will you be ready when the time comes for you to retire or sell your business?
BY SYLVAIN SEGUIN
It’s inevitable–sooner or later, as a business owner you will face the prospect of saying goodbye to the business you worked so hard for, nursed, and grew into a profitable venture.
What happens to your legacy then? Are you sure you have placed it in the right hands before you retire? Are you concerned that the carefully accumulated value in your business will be wasted away?
These are the questions that haunt every shop owner as they contemplate retirement or prepare to sell their business. Succession planning is an uncomfortable thought and often prompt heartbreak. Most owners put off discussions on retirement, death, or business failure until it is too late. In my opinion, it is an important issue that shouldn’t be avoided, especially if you are determined to protect your hard-fought legacy. In the aftermarket business, the term succession planning can mean different things to different people–it can be as simple as asking a family member to take over your shop or grooming one of your high-performing employees to step into the role. By identifying your successor, you can rest easy with the thought that the business will continue to accumulate value in the long run.
Plenty of businesses across Canada—not just aftermarket shops—fail to have a robust and detailed succession plan in place. This goes to show that succession planning is often the most overlooked part of a business strategy. I believe succession planning is critical in uncertain times and should be part of your strategy from day one.
A well-written and clear succession plan helps to develop talent to replace leadership or other key employees when they transition to another role, leave the company, or retire. This process is aimed at creating a pool of talented successors who will keep the business running with little to no interruption when inevitable business changes occur.
An early business succession plan delivers tangible, real-life benefits – a defined path to successful retirement, more financial security and greater protection when unplanned events occur. Smart entrepreneurs involve their families very early on in the process, almost at the same time as they launch their business, so they are confident their business is insulated against any uncertainty.
When properly implemented, succession planning can keep your business moving forward during the inevitable changes that come with running a business. Forwardthinking organisations will always ensure that succession planning is an ongoing process—they review and refresh the plan on a regular basis, making sure people are on track and check if there have been any changes or movement within the organization.
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