How to Create a Small Business Succession Plan


If you’re a small business owner, you need a succession plan. It doesn’t matter if retirement is years away, you need to plan for the unexpected. A study by Wilmington Trust of over 200 small businesses found that 58% of small business owners have no succession plan.

A succession plan will help you seamlessly transition leadership, align the interests of the key parties, resolve estate and inheritance issues and provide for you during retirement. The succession plan can help with more than just retirement and death, it can support your business in the event that you become disabled or split from a business partner or spouse.

When you’re beginning the process of building a succession plan you should start by evaluating any drafts or current plans that you’ve worked on in the past. Many business owners have some idea of what they want to do with their business, or you may have an existing will or trust or corporate documents that outline some of the elements of a transition plan. After you have gathered your existing documents, it is time to reach out and build a team of trusted advisors to help you. This team may consist of financial planners, attorneys, insurance brokers and yes, even AcuMax. Figure out what your goals are for your business and your family, keeping in mind the personal goals and wishes of those you’re thinking about transitioning the business too. If you’re unsure of who in your family may be a good fit to transition the company to then AcuMax Index can assist you in looking at the hardwiring of your potential successors and seeing who may be a good fit to transition leadership over to. Figure out if you’d want to do a phased approach to exiting your business and what that would look like for you structurally and financially. Make sure that all parties named in the succession plan know what role they’re expected to take on and that they’re on board with the plan that has been outlined.

Here are some great resources to look through while developing your succession plan: