Your business's legacy is the result of many years of work, and planning for the transition to the next owner requires a similarly long timeframe. As Entrepreneur pointed out, it's hard to start making a conscious, lasting impact on your enterprise and positively influence the new owners once you're already near your targeted retirement date. Your legacy starts with your first day on the job and builds up until you choose to leave your position and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
While more planning will take place once you make a decision about the future of your organization, it's important to start planning early and recording important information about your role in places besides your own memory. Keep notes of what has and hasn't worked well for your company, best practices for engaging with specific clients and vendors, thoughts about the state of your industry and more. As your retirement draws nearer, spend time with your successors and start sharing this type of knowledge face to face.
Everyone's careers last for different lengths of time, which means you will have some trusted staff in the prime of their working years as you approach retirement. You'll naturally identify long-term employees as your business continues to evolve and grow, and all but the smallest companies will have at least one or two prized staff members who can fill this role.
Discuss the importance of succession planning with them and make it clear you believe they can play a valuable role in maintaining the success of your company. As your retirement date draws closer, you can start holding specific discussions about the transition and their role in it. These employees will be vital in helping a new company leader reach into the bank of organizational experience and make informed decisions going forward.
Leadership transitions are always a complicated period for businesses, even when they are planned far in advance. A new decision-maker has to put his or her own mark on the company and make choices as they see fit. This time means adjustment for everyone involved, which is why it's critical that finances are stable and reliable going into the changeover. Avoid major, unnecessary expenses and purchases when the time for a leadership transition starts to draw near, and consider more fiscally manageable options, like financing or leasing equipment.
A captive finance company provides businesses with attractive options for leasing and financing equipment, an option that helps maintain stability in the face of a leadership transition. Talk to your local dealer or finance representative for more information.