Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Train a business successor before handing over the company

Once people choose a business successor for their Massachusetts company, they may think their business succession plan is complete. However, it is also important to make sure this successor will be ready to do the job. It is a good idea for business leaders to train their successor before this person takes over the company.

Many business leaders may think their successor already knows all of the duties associated with the job. However, this person may not know the ins and outs of leading a company, so it is a good idea to write a job description before training a successor. People may want to write out all of the duties they perform each day, as well as the soft skills which have been helpful. Some business leaders may also want to add tips for tackling certain problems or working with certain clients. As people start training their successor, it is a good idea to have this person shadow them throughout the day. This can help a successor understand what a typical day on the job looks like.

Additionally, it is important for business owners to remember that training a successor takes time. Some people may want to create a training timeline so they hand over duties slowly. They may, for example, have their successor shadow them every day for a few weeks and then hand over small duties. This can help the entire company slowly adjust to the new leader and may make the transition smoother. 

Some business leaders may want to train their successor by letting him or her take the lead on certain projects. According to the SHRM Foundation, this allows a successor to get on-the-job experience and take responsibility slowly. As they choose which projects to assign to their successor, business owners may want to consider which skills this person needs to develop and what he or she is ready for. Additionally, some people may want to closely mentor their chosen successor. If people do not think they can provide leadership training by themselves, they may want to consider setting up a mentoring network. In this situation, a business successor might work with several senior-level staff members to further develop his or her skills. 


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