Picture of Kimberlie Williams
Written by Kimberlie Williams

It’s a scary thing to leave your business in the hands of other people, but the key to a successful changeover is ultimately about building trust. It’s about building trust that these people will continue the legacy you sought out to leave in the world. The time to prepare for that is not in the future but now, so that you can be assured your business is left in good hands.

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Proper business succession means preparing your business to transition its success well into the future and helping your team set up a game plan to handle the shifts and turn in technology, the socioeconomic climate, government regulations, and competition that may occur for your company.


It’s about knowing your biggest threats and weaknesses and strategizing to minimize the risk associated with them as much as possible. Maybe you’re an older company struggling with the navigating social media. Invest in strong social media experts. Strategizing will also help your team determine if you need to step outside of your company to find the person best suited for the job. This process is more than minimizing risk, it’s about building on company strengths and capitalizing on opportunities that will help your business grow well into the future.


Ensure you’ve left your business in the hands of someone your employees can trust. Even if the new CEO is qualified for the job, if there is a misalignment in trust and respect there will be conflict and sneaky office politics that could lead to inner turmoil for your company. Also, ensure that there is strong teamwork and cooperation among your team. This means delegating each of the plans you’ve made earlier to the people best suited to accomplish them, getting that in writing, and encouraging proactive teamwork and healthy communication.



In order for this transition to work best, it helps to integrate these plans into your company culture as early as possible, so that it doesn’t have to become a transition. Instead it will become what your company already knows and is trained to do innately. It’s become part of the standards and best practices that everyone has to follow.


Work out the short-term goals that will help your company achieve its long-term goals, so that everyone is working towards the same goals. Nothing can cause friction quicker than people not even being on the same game plan. Equip new staff with the ability to be trained and on-boarded successfully so that they can transition into the workflow seamlessly.


Reward the people who’ve brought your company results. Remember that a company is only as strong as the people behind it. When you reward your employees, you’ve left them with pride and a feeling that they’ve done what they needed to do. They will feel personally invested in keeping your business successful as well because you’ve let them know that they’ve contributed to its success.


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Constantly Improve 

In order to make sure everything has gone smoothly, data for all the proper benchmarks and goals need to be collected and observed. If goals are not being met, review and modify the strategies the company has set and make changes as necessary. For example, if your business is showing signs that it will not continue to be profitable on its current path, the time to figure out a solution is now, not after you’re gone.


It’s not just about meeting benchmarks, but optimizing your results. Fine-tuning your approach will help your business get the best return-on-investment that you can for your company. Account for changes outside and within your company. For example, there may be signs your customers tastes are changing. Account for that. Signs exist for a reason. It’s important to catch things early, otherwise you might be wasting resources. You should have a team dedicated to observing and responding to change through such things like research or predictive A.I. technology, and return to step one. Strategize well for your company. Success takes a strong plan. Successful business owners plan ahead.


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