Succession Planning: Is Your Plan in Place?


Many of today’s Baby Boomer business owners find themselves wondering and worrying what to do about the future. They’ve spent plenty of time and effort building their businesses from the ground up. Chances are, they have a staff that relies on them for employment, benefits, and other necessary support. What does that mean for the business when retirement approaches? Having a clear succession plan in place can make it easier for your employees to figure out what to do when you’re ready to make that big move down to Florida–or wherever else it is that retirement takes you.

Who’s Taking Over?

Even though you may have spent most of your life building the reputation of your business, many millennials don’t want to do what Mom and Dad did before them. They have their own hopes, their own dreams, their own plans. If your children have already chosen to pursue their own careers, don’t assume that they’re going to step out of their existing jobs in order to take over the family business when you’re ready to retire! When you’re no longer willing or able to take part in the day-to-day running of the business, you have several options.

  • Put a board or team in place to manage the business in your absence. This will allow you to continue to have income from the company throughout retirement without needing to be in the office every day.
  • Designate a specific individual that you want to take over for you. This may be an individual who has been mentored by you in the past or who has shown characteristics that you like in your business’s future management.
  • Create a hierarchy through which the business is able to run itself. Done correctly, this is an effective arrangement that can continue through your retirement years and beyond.

Don’t leave the management of your company to chance after your retirement! Instead, take the vital steps necessary to ensure that your company is secure throughout the transition. Ideally, you want people in management positions who will care for your company and your employees just as much as you do.

Prepare the Marketing Plan for Transition

You’ve always marketed the way you know best. Digital marketing, however, is the way of the future–and your business needs to step into that realm in order to keep up. Many times, the response during the transition period is to slash every budget possible. The fewer expenses there are, the longer the business can stay afloat even in difficult financial situations. Setting your marketing plan up for success, however, will ensure that your business keeps running smoothly even with your retirement. This might include several key steps.

Make sure that your brand is clearly represented. For years, you’ve followed a specific format with regards to your brand. While the company may choose to update it in the future, keeping the branded template clear is one of the best ways to ensure that your company is able to present the same public face it always has. From the logo that’s displayed on your ads to the language that’s used in communications with your customers, you want to be sure that brand consistency continues in your absence to keep customers’ confidence in the company.

Set the budget in place. Whether you’re announcing your retirement and going out with a community celebration or planning to slip away quietly, take the time to set out your marketing budget for the next year.

Offer marketing freedom. As new members of the team move up to take over, let them have some freedom to embrace the new tactics emerging in marketing. From video marketing opportunities to social media, its critical that your business embrace the latest marketing tactics in order to keep your business strong in your industry.

Creating a strong succession plan starts long before you’re ready to actually retire. By setting out a plan months or even years ahead, you’ll find that the transition out of your business is easier on everyone. If you need help with the marketing aspect of your retirement, contact us today to earn how we can help.

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