Planning for the future of your business once you are no longer at the helm may be one of the last things on your to-do list, but it shouldn’t be. All businesses will experience a transition at some point, and making sure that you have a system in place for business succession helps to ensure longevity and stability even when you are gone.
So, how can you go about ensuring that your business outlives you?
Let’s find out.
Methods to ensure your business succession plan works
These methods will not only help you in your creation of a business succession plan, but they will also help you to turn your business into a self-sustaining entity. This makes succession much easier, as your well-oiled machine of a business can keep on rolling no matter the circumstances.
1. Establish efficient business systems and tools
Businesses are only as good as the management. If you can’t manage your business processes well, it’s likely that you’ll lag behind in your projects and may even fail to do simple tasks like marketing your brand effectively.
For the efficient functioning of your business, it’s essential to have a solid business system in place. This can help in streamlining your processes and make it easier to achieve your business goals. Some of the ways in which you can achieve this are:
- Create standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- Identify and set up workflows
- Provide each employee with a set of duties
- Choose the right set of decision-makers
- Document all the decisions taken
- Apply management best practices like ISO 9001.
Having established processes and protocols enables everyone to continue discharging their duties even without your presence, which is essential during business succession.
While efficient business systems can help you streamline your processes and smooth the business succession transition, they’re not enough all by themselves. To make the most out of your business processes, you should also incorporate the right set of tools.
When you incorporate tools and software solutions into the mix, it becomes easier to execute and monitor your plan. You can also use them to also make things transparent within your organization and build trust among your employees.
There are specific tools for each line of your business including marketing, sales, human resources, etc.
But even if you don’t incorporate tools for all the streams, they are essential for sales, since sales directly impact your business’s bottom line. If sales processes aren’t well monitored, it could negatively affect your organization’s revenue and performance.
The need for these sales tools is even more pronounced when you’re dealing with a field sales team because there’s no easy way to track their efficiency.
With Skynamo, you can get deep insights through analytics, providing you with a real-time picture of your sales. There are also tools for your sales reps that allow them to access accurate product and pricing information. Additionally, the data entry process is simplified so your sales team won’t have to put in a lot of time and effort entering data.
2. Document all business processes and data
Without proper documentation, it will be nearly impossible for people in your company to implement essential processes, especially without you there.
Documenting processes is extremely important in all fields, including marketing. In fact, 69% of the most successful companies have a well-documented content strategy. On the other hand, only 18% of the least successful companies have one. This points to a direct correlation between a documented strategy and business success.
So, how can you go about documenting a process?
Here are the steps involved:
- Plan out the process.
- Document the process by writing about each step involved.
- Dive deep into each step of the process and explain it thoroughly.
- Develop a messaging and communication plan.
- Validate the process.
- Optimize the process based on analysis.
However, processes aren’t all that matters. You also need to care for the data that you have.
All businesses generate a lot of data and all of this data would need to be safely managed and stored. This data is not only important for records, but can also play a major role when it comes to data-driven decision-making.
For making such decisions, you must store and analyze vast quantities of data. And, if you haven’t stored the data well, it might become inaccurate, broken, or you might lose it forever which can affect your decisions.
So it’s crucial that you store and manage this data properly to ensure that its quality remains top-notch. The best way of doing so is by storing your data electronically, which takes up little to no physical space. Additionally, it’s least susceptible to physical damage in case of any untoward events.
When data is stored electronically, it is easier to secure and you can seamlessly control access to it. You also won’t have to go through the hassle of sorting through vast chunks of data to come up with analytics and insights.
For instance, when it comes to sales, you can always leverage a platform like Skynamo. Our cloud-based platform makes it easy for you to store and visualize your data. It provides real-time insights on your visitors, sales rep KPIs, sales performance, and so much more. The best part is that all of this data is available at the click of a button.
But how does this help with business succession planning?
Data forms the basis of all your decisions and progress. While you may be aware of a lot of things related to your business, your successor may not be. In such a situation, if your data is stored safely, it can make the business succession process smoother and quicker.
3. Define roles and responsibilities
The management of your business is extremely important for ensuring its longevity. One of the most important aspects of management is the distribution of power and responsibilities. As a business owner, it’s essential that you work on this right from the beginning.
For each position in your business, you need to decide on the following:
- What will the person in this role supervise?
- Who will work right under this person?
- Who will be second in command?
- Who will the person report to?
- Which decisions can this person take?
The answers to these questions will help you figure out the various roles and responsibilities of people at each post in your business. This needs to be done so that everyone knows exactly what they need to do even if there’s a power vacuum at management level.
While this comes in very handy even in the day-to-day working of your business, it’s especially important when it comes to business succession. Irrespective of the company’s management, your employees will know exactly what they need to do at each point. This helps in propelling your organization forward as a self-sustaining one.
4. Create business succession plans
While everything we mentioned helps in simplifying the way you go about business succession, there’s nothing that comes quite close to a detailed business succession plan. Without these plans, it’s practically impossible to go ahead without major hiccups.
The main goal in succession planning is to ensure that your business has the right set of tools to enable the success of your business’s next leaders.
So, what are the major benefits of succession planning?
Let’s find out.
1. It disaster-proofs your business
Disasters can strike at any moment and they can be deadly. These could be anything right from financial crunches to natural disasters like hurricanes. While you might be able to safeguard your finances by buying insurance, you can’t replace the human element so easily.
As a business leader, you must recognize the fact that you might not be there for your business at all times. That’s why you must start looking for a successor and train them too, so your business won’t be left leaderless in case of any unforeseen events.
2. It helps you find the best leaders
Creating a business succession plan will help you begin identifying who your successor(s) will be.
With this in mind, you’ll be better positioned to observe your internal talent for signs of a great leader. Also, if you’re not able to find someone suitable in the organization, you can also start an external talent search for the same.
3. It gets you extra assistance
Once you’ve identified the right set of candidates for business succession, you might start training them as well. This would make the transition easier when the time comes as they’d have acquired the skills required by then.
But, in the meantime, these candidates would be learning how to manage the business. As a result, you can involve them in a lot of new management activities. This, in turn, can be a blessing for you as they’d help in taking care of a lot of aspects of your business, which you might have had to do single-handedly.
4. It maintains your brand
When there’s a business succession and a change in the management, the perspectives on what your company’s identity is could change. The new management might want to take your brand in a different direction to the one you envisioned.
If this happens, it can change your brand identity and this can damage its reputation as many customers may be unhappy with this change. However, you can avoid this if you have a business succession plan in place that emphasizes the maintenance of your successful brand identity.
To ensure business longevity, it’s essential to have a business succession plan. This plan will help you identify and train the best candidates for succession. Additionally, you should document all your business processes properly so that everyone knows what needs to be done to keep things running smoothly, even when you are there.
You should also store all the company data securely and manage it well so that you can use it for data-driven decision-making. It’s also critical to define the roles and responsibilities of all the employees so that things can work harmoniously even if there’s a change in the management or there’s a power vacuum.
Finally, you must incorporate tools into your business to ensure that the processes remain smooth. This is especially important when it comes to sales and Skynamo can help you with that. So, get in touch with us today for a demo.