Every business needs to have a “Succession Plan” built into its future plans, as it is vital for the long term sustainability of any business. Not only will it help with the continual growth and performance of the business but it is also important to model the behaviours the stakeholders want other members of staff to exhibit.

Focus on existing staff, appraisals and skills development

One of the main areas to focus on is your staff, especially the ones that demonstrate talent, quality and leadership qualities, as this will help to maintain the current behaviours and practices of the business. Experienced workers is another area; if they choose to leave they take with them business acumen, skills, wisdom and recognised company knowledge. It is important to factor in these capabilities at all times, so as to not lose staff that you have already invested in.

In family businesses, it is not always a given fact that the next generation wants to be involved in the business, let alone run it, so this is something that needs to be identified as early as possible.

Having a quality appraisal system in place is very important; consider a 360 degree performance appraisal review approach. As the information is anonymous, it helps towards a better understanding of the abilities of your staff for growth and development purposes.

To promote a natural progression from within, identify individuals who have the potential to take over, and then consider training them and growing their knowledge and skills base. This is a more cost effective way rather than having to recruit, train and impart the company culture into any individual. Ensure that your business is committed to continual skills development and recognising quality staff.

Recruit from outside your business

If you do have to look outside of the business to recruit for the necessary skills and talent required, ensure that the individual(s) will catapult the business to such a level that not even their predecessors could have envisioned such a leap in business.

There are a number of areas within a business that also need to be included with the expanse of succession planning: Technical and financial succession planning is just as important.

So when you are re-writing your Business Plan, consider adding these important factors within the plan if you want to ensure that your business has a realistic future.

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