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All Change at the Top

The past few weeks have seen significant changes in the country’s leadership. From the swearing in of the new Prime Minister to the ascent of King Charles III, September 2022 will be remembered as a time of change.

One thing that can be observed from recent events is the importance of a smooth transition and the benefit of having a succession plan in place.

Here we look at how to approach succession planning in a business setting.

Sharing information

One of the main issues we encounter when we start working with business owners is that of information ownership. Often, business owners hold onto a significant level of information themselves, failing to share this – and therefore the responsibility – with other key members of their team. Whilst ‘letting go’ of certain aspects of running a business can be hard to do, it’s the only way to reduce the reliance on the business owner themselves.

Once some responsibilities have been delegated, this can form the start of forming business systems and processes – which will ultimately allow someone else to take over the business.

Allowing a period of crossover

When it comes to succession planning, having a period of crossover can be significantly beneficial to ensuring a smooth transition. We all witnessed the seamless changeover of Monarch following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Becoming King is a role that King Charles has effectively been in training for his whole life. In a business setting, it can be useful for a potential buyer to get to know their new team and pick the brains of the exiting business owner. Allowing team members to get to know their new boss can also provide certainty and peace of mind, therefore resulting in greater levels of staff retention.

Honesty is the best policy

Uncertainty is a troublemaking force. Comparing the cumbersome and drawn out process of electing a new Prime Minister to the almost immediate transition in the Monarchy, the benefits of having a clearly defined plan that all stakeholders are aware of can be seen. Whilst some degree of secrecy may be needed when it comes to changing the ownership of a business, sharing information openly when it is available is likely to prove the best policy.

Putting a succession plan in place is often the first real step a business owner makes in realising a goal of exiting a business. This is a step that Agenda’s Business Consultants have helped lots of business owners to take – assisting with reaching key decisions and putting the necessary stages in place to allow a succession plan to be followed. For more information or to arrange an initial consultation, please get in touch.

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