Or more politely…

When would you like to leave?

Strange as it may sound, planning for the day you depart your own business can be a very valuable exercise. Retirement ages might not be that relevant to you and your family business, but ensuring there is an open dialogue about your preferred retirement options, has never been more important.


Understanding both your own long term aims and that of your business enables future staffing needs to be aligned with business strategy, ensures continuity of leadership and business stability.

You may decide to: partly or fully retire, handover the reins to a family or non-family member or even sell up. If you’re going to be replaced (at some point!), consider using a SUCCESSION PLAN to help ensure a smooth and organised transition, with minimum business disruption and emotional upheaval.

A good succession plan should provide answers to the following TEN key questions:

  1. What type of succession will it be? eg complete removal or partial removal
  2. Who will succeed you? eg a family member already in the business, a family member not involved with the business, a non-family employee or an external candidate
  3. What is your timeframe for departure?
  4. Will the succession create other job vacancies in the business?
  5. What will the new organisation chart look like?
  6. Will the chosen successor require specific training, development or coaching?
  7. What legal changes will need to be made to the business?
  8. What risks could be associated with the transition? eg impact of change on customers, clients, suppliers, other family members etc
  9. What communication methods will be used to let all stakeholders know about the changes?
  10. What are the financial implications of the transition? eg recruitment costs, training/development/coaching costs, remuneration and benefits packages etc

Setting timetables and milestones to review the plan will help keep it relevant and realistic.  It will also be useful in the event you need or want to leave earlier or later than anticipated.  Finally, without wanting to sound too pessimistic, don’t forget to think about a contingency plan – just in case your replacement doesn’t quite work out!

If you’d like help in drawing up your Succession Plan, or would just like to talk through some of these ideas in more detail, give me a call on: 05600 343 727 or email me: kay@kayhealdhr.co.uk.

For a more entertaining approach to succession planning, have a look at: Family Business Fairytale – A Royal Succession

If you’d like to see more material related to Family Businesses, try: Keeping it in the Family; Family Business Charter and Fluttering Rights

Tags: , , , , , , , ,