When planning a succession or sale, business owners should consider turning the reigns over to either the “heir apparent” or an interim CEO/President while still on-site.
This will give the owner a chance to determine whether they are comfortable with a transition of authority, especially on day to day matters. Giving someone else authority to make decisions on hiring, marketing and vision-casting before actually going on that long awaited world cruise can be a good method to check out the mentality and initiative of a would-be successor before giving more comprehensive authority.
Often owners just want a break from the minutia of running the business which allows them to spend more energy on long range planning. Obviously, the physical and mental health of the owner should be considered as well. Asking, “Is the time right to retire, sell or turn over the day to day operations?” is a major decision especially for someone that has poured their heart and soul into the founding of a business. The emotional attachment can often blur the right decision.
One should do some soul-searching about whether the goals they had at the beginning have been achieved or whether it is more likely to be achieved with someone else at the helm.
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Written by Larry, Business to Business Consultant