No Time Like the Present

May 11, 2018 | A sense of community: What makes Iowa a great place for manufacturers? Drew Larson, Attorney, BrownWinick Law Firm,

There is an old saying that a journey of a 1,000 miles starts with just one step. That is definitely true of succession and transition planning. It is one of those big, ongoing projects that you know is important, but rarely feels urgent when compared with the other demands of your business. So it sits on the to-do list, uncompleted for months or years.

One of the most important factors of an effective succession plan is the time to implement and perfect your strategy. Time is sadly the one resource you can never get back if you delay getting started. The key to preserving and making use of your time is just getting started — even if it is something small — and building a habit of taking regular, small steps to maintain and increase your momentum.

There are a number of ways to get the ball rolling, which include:

  1. Engaging your management team in the process and setting aside a specific time every month to work on these issues.
  2. Finding an accountability partner, like a business adviser, accountant or attorney, to help keep you on track and work through thorny issues.
  3. Reading and researching succession planning issues.
  4. Identifying and writing down goals for the business and yourself personally.
  5. Making succession goals a factor when making your key business decisions, particularly with respect to new hires and promotions.
  6. Considering whether a sale of the company may be the right choice, whether to employees or to a third party.

There truly is no time like the present. Working through the tough succession planning issues will increase the value of your company, provide peace of mind (in the long term) and maximize the chances that your goals are actually achieved.