Business owners should prepare succession plan

Will your business continue to run if you are not performing the work?

Do you own a business or are you self-employed?

If the business depends on the talent of the business owner to be there and perform the work, then the person is just self-employed.

As an entrepreneur, the mindset and therefore the daily tasks are slightly different.

As an entrepreneur, your daily routine is working on designing the systems to keep the business running, and then putting those systems into action.

In both cases, the self-employed or entrepreneur might work 50-80 hour weeks. The self-employed person works to make money, while the entrepreneur works at making money work for him.

Another way to look at this is what is your business worth without you.

Will your business continue to run if you are not performing the work?

There has been ample discussion recently about our aging population; the impact it has on our health care system, our education system and a variety of services.

There is an impact to the business owner if they are preparing for retirement and wish to sell their business.

If the business is only viable with your particular skill set then there is a very limited market to sell the business to. If the business is viable to anyone with good business skills then the market expands and with that expansion the amount the business is worth increases.

When you started your business you should have had a business plan, complete with a financial plan and a marketing plan.

As you start to look to retirement you should be developing a succession plan.

That may mean bringing someone in to your business to train to take the helm or ensuring you have well trained staff in place who will carry the work forward with a new owner or it could simply mean ensuring that you have been able to invest funds gained from the operation of the business invested to provide you with the retirement you hoped to have when you entered the business world.

Aging business owners present similar challenges as an aging workforce and the adage “failure to plan is planning to fail” applies in the same way that failure to have a business plan in place when you start a business does.


— Kim Burden is the executive director of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce