Set the stage for continued business success and a lasting legacy

Successful business owners like you understand the importance of good leadership. After all, your North Carolina business did not grow into the productive, prosperous company it is today by osmosis. You put your whole heart and soul (and a lot of time and effort) into bringing your long ago dream to fruition. Now, the time has come to think about the future, namely who will take over the reins of your business when you are no longer here to man the helm.

As someone who likely already knows how crucial good organizational skills and proper record keeping can be toward business success, you may be wondering how best to proceed to line up all your ducks in a row with regard to passing the torch when the time comes. A solid business succession plan may be just the viable option you're looking for.

Key factors of successful succession planning

Some people simply close up shop or sell their businesses as they prepare for their golden years. If you have another plan in mind for your business to continue, it's never too soon to put it all in writing. The following list includes information that may help you execute a strong succession plan:

  • One of the first major decisions in developing a strong business succession plan is whether ownership will transfer to a sole individual or group of people. If you have several heirs, you may want to distribute shares among them. Enlisting the help of an experienced estate planning attorney is recommended as such situations can lead to family discord if extreme clarity is not evident in a  particular plan.
  • Just because you want certain individuals to own your business, doesn't mean they are best suited to run it. There is no reason you can't designate separate people to carry out various duties, such as management, sales, customer service and accounting.
  • If ownership of your business is contingent on continuing to operate according to your instructions, you may include such terms in your business succession plan. Make sure all parties signing an agreement clearly understand the responsibilities and obligations listed therein.

The time to discuss such matters with your spouse and adult children is while you are still of sound mind and in good spirits. It's usually not a good idea to merely mention your intentions in passing then hope it all turns out for the best. Rather, if you meet with your family members alongside experienced representation, you provide an opportunity for everyone to ask questions and seek clarification of any portion of your plan that may be misconstrued.

By thinking ahead and carefully planning the next phase of your business, you may increase the chances that what you began many years ago will successfully continue far into the future.

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