small businesses – time off and succession planning

Succession Planning copyEveryone needs time off. Yet, I have witnessed many business owners which either cannot take time off or refuse to due to questions like “who will run the shop?” If you find yourself asking that question – then there are some opportunities in your court to address. The simple fact of the matter is that you do not have adequate plans in place. This is also why many self employed (individual professionals) people struggle during life’s trials.

Every business should have a continuity plan. Many times this is surrounding large events that could happen such as emergencies etc. I consider this to be a part of that subject. The first obvious reason is that if the main person at your organization were to disappear – who is next – or would the business just end? If that is the case, then you have not really grasped the full potential of being the business owner. A part of your responsibility is to ensure business will continue with or without you. By simply giving up – in the event something were to happen – the responsibility of true ownership has not taken place. It is time that you and a group of people nominate a few potential candidates for succession. This will ensure that every team member will be able to continue, short term, if something were to happen.

Next, the succession planning allows a long term training program where an individual is being groomed. The grooming should consist of knowledge transfer and how operations are handled. During this time – it is imperative that you take the person which is being groomed and allow him or her to demonstrate abilities. This is a prime opportunity is for the business manager to take a break or sorts or vacation and prepare the organization for the future. If properly handled, and given proper timing, the replacement will step in and it will be seamless.

The responsibility of the owner, when creating the business, is to satisfy the customers needs who are needing the services provided as well as the employees who depend on the company for a livelihood. By not facing this or making plans – it is a gross form of negligence to many.

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