Hints & Tips Blog

Struggling with Succession? Our Top Tips and Self-Help Plan

Managing change in business is a challenge at any time. The last few months have taught us all the importance of being flexible and having the ability to adapt to changing situations.

The same can be said of one of the most important challenges a business faces, that of succession. It is an area of business that I have been involved in extensively with businesses over the last few years.

As a business owner/leader you have probably successfully grown your business operating in a certain way and relying on a core team to support you and make it happen.

However, at some point, either you or a senior team will want to retire or spend more time away from the business and you will have to start thinking about the future and what to do.

So how can you successfully navigate through the complicated issues of succession?

There is no right or wrong way to tackle succession, it is very much the case that each circumstance is slightly different. However, based on previous experiences, we have created some tips to get you started along the journey.


  1. Identifying clearly where you want to get to; is a critical first step. What do you want the future to look like?In many cases, the answer to this question may seem obvious; in a family business it is usually the next generation; in other businesses, it is often someone who has worked in the business for a long time.But in both cases, it is important to take into account what the future shape of the senior team in the business should look like as this may need to evolve too.This takes time and it is important that you take on board the views of the people involved, as they are ultimately the ones who will make it work.


  1. Once you feel you have a clear picture of what you want the future to look like, create a plan to get you from the situation today to where you want to be tomorrow.Once you have decided what your high-level people plan is, you need to ensure you achieve your goal.Creating a plan is critical to any successful implementation.Broadly, you want to cover:
    – What is happening now (today’s situation)?
    – Where would we like to get to (structure/responsibilities/timings)?
    – How are we going to achieve this (implementation)?


  1. The Implementation
    With the plan developed and agreed, you move onto the implementation phase. This is the most difficult and time-consuming element.It may involve recruiting new people, mentoring existing members of the team, re-shaping management meetings or a simple re-allocation of responsibilities.Keeping track of the planned activities is crucial, assessing what is working and what needs adapting is also important. Doing this will give you the opportunity to reflect and adapt your plan to make sure it will still enable you to reach your ultimate objectives.Having someone to help you develop the plan, providing objective input and support on this on this journey can also be hugely beneficial. It also enables you to draw on their experiences and benefit from their input too.


If this is a challenge that your business faces, then at the moment we are offering a free virtual coffee with a member of our team. This will give you the opportunity to discuss how you want to approach the project and provide you with some valuable external insight.


All of our consultants have successfully run businesses and our practical approach to supporting our clients enables us to share our real-world experience to positively impact on the performance of your business