Finding the right person to take over your business once you are ready to move on can be a challenge if you don't plan for it. Over 50% of Canadian small business owners have no succession plan despite the importance they place on ensuring that they hand off control to someone they trust.
If you are among the majority of business owners who haven't written out a succession plan, now is the perfect time! Here are a few items to get you started:
Decide when you want the succession to be complete
Transition to a new owner can range from months to over a year depending on the business and the assistance the new owner needs. This can be negotiated as part of the sale.
List the skills, experience and strengths that a successor needs
Write down the key strengths that a new owner should possess. Don't focus on them as a person, instead think about the tangible skills required to run your business. It is unlikely you will find someone who has them all, yet finding someone who has most of them can help your legacy live on.
Create a Transition Plan
As discussed in more detail here, a detailed transition plan can be essential to successfully hand off control of your business. When it comes to finding your successor it is recommended that you discuss this plan with them in advance to ensure they agree and can become an active partner in the transition.
List Your business for sale
Once you have a handle on the type of person you are looking to succeed you it's time to list your business for sale on Otonomy. There are a number of steps you can do to prepare your business for sale in advance that we discuss here.
Find your match
On average it takes 18 months for a small business owner to sell their business. The sooner it's listed for sale the sooner you can start talking to perspective buyers. Now is the time for you to begin the steps to your next adventure.