Stephen Kaplan, P.C.

Who will take over my business?

It can be exciting to own your own business. Once your company is up and running, you have the feeling of limitless opportunity.

An essential part of owning a business is deciding who will take over when you retire or pass on. Life can be unpredictable, so it is never too early to think about a succession plan for your business.

Here’s what you should consider as you think about who is next in line for running your business.

Family is not always the answer (but sometimes it is)

It can happen on both ends. Often family members expect to hand down (or inherit) the family business, but a family member is not always the best fit.

Be open with your family members who might be interested in taking over your business. Talk to them about what it takes to succeed and what they can do to be ready to take over.

While some may need time to develop the right skills, others may not be the right fit. In the early stages, it is ok to tell them that you’re still looking for the right candidate.

The right candidate might already be working for you

Pay attention to the people who have already helped your company get to where it is. The people who support your business may have “entry-level positions,” but they might have the potential for more.

Watch for employees who are eager to take on more responsibility and are ready to learn. They might have the potential to pick up where you leave off.

Interest is essential

You have done well in your industry because it had a certain appeal to you. Whether the appeal came from a natural skill, knowledge built over time or both, there was an element of interest that helped motivate out to strike out on your own.

As you are considering candidates, pay attention to those who get excited about changes in the industry and bettering the business. Look for someone who would appreciate the time and effort it would take to train them.

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