Succession: Myths Versus Reality

By Neel Shah, Trusts|Estates|Law posted 06-01-2015 09:17


Succession planning is one of the most important steps you can take for your business, but all too often it gets pushed off or glossed over entirely. Taking the time to really consider your options, however, can help to lay the groundwork for a better transition in the future. Procrastinating could lead to a bad merger or closure of the firm entirely, so there’s a lot at stake in putting together your plan. 

Over 61% of current business partners are 50 or older, and over half of all firms in the US today expect one or more partners to retire within a 5 year period. This alone highlights why special succession planning is critical. It’s a myth that young, outside candidate will appear out of nowhere, but yet this belief is what leads so many business owners to put the hunt for future talent on hold.

There’s another myth that 3-5 years is too far in advance to plan. If you run any kind of business where you interact with a client annually, this is a bad idea. This leaves only 3-5 possible visits for a successful handoff to your new team. The new team should have better practice than this, so plan ahead.

There’s a final myth that mergers always cause problems for clients, but this is not true so long as you prepare your clients for the changes ahead and follow it up with a clear letter about what they can expect. More questions about succession planning? Contact us at [email protected].