Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

How do you pick a business successor?

When you own a business in Massachusetts, you may think you have plenty of time to choose a successor. However, it is important to have a succession plan in place before you need one. There are a few things to consider as you pick a successor and put a plan together. 

Sometimes you may think you are the only person who needs to consider business succession. Leaderonomics.com says that is is a good idea to bring your board of directors into this conversation. The board can help you identify the most important criteria your successor should have. Additionally, this group may be able to help with accountability as you put together a plan, as well as help guide the new successor through the first few months on the job. It is also a good idea to consider what obstacles the company might face later on. While you may want to pick a successor who is exactly like you, it is important to remember that your company may need someone with different qualities to guide the business through different circumstances.

As you look at potential successors, you may sometimes want to speak to these people so they know you are considering them. However, it is important to remember that your plans may change as you look over your company to understand what it needs. Because of this, it may be a good idea to wait before you speak to someone about taking over the company. Sometimes you may think your successor will come from a particular department. However, it may be a better idea to look for an employee who has the qualifications and characteristics you want in a successor. This employee may not work in a certain department, so you might want to look at your entire organization to find the right person to take over the company.

Once you have selected a small group of people who might be good successors, it is a good idea to start working with them. Working closely with these candidates can give you a better understanding of what each person might bring to the position. This may help you make a better choice when you finally choose one of them to be your successor.

This information is intended to educate. It should not be used in place of legal advice.

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