Stevenson & Smith, P.C.
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Now is the time to think of the future of your business

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? Do your plans include retiring, traveling and reaping the benefits of your decades of hard work? Perhaps you, like many other business owners, see yourself passing your company on to your children and watching them take it in new and exciting directions.

No matter your specific goals for the future, the bottom line is that you aren't likely to get there without some thoughtful planning. In fact, even if you have only recently started your business, a succession plan is something it is never too early to consider.

Who is next in line?

Your eldest child may be your spitting image, or you may have personalities that are constantly at war. If you envision passing your business along to your firstborn, you may want to consider whether that is the most practical decision. It is not uncommon for businesses to fail because sons or daughters did not share the founders' ideals when they took over the companies. Some business advisors recommend sending children out into the world to work in other businesses to test their mettle.

Although it is traditional that the next in line is the oldest sibling, perhaps another of your children -- or maybe even a niece or nephew -- has the more appropriate disposition or business philosophy for taking the helm when you step down. Maybe there is another employee whom you can see rising to a leadership level with proper grooming. This training cannot happen overnight.

The hardest part is letting go

After working so hard to bring success to your business, the thought of giving up control may be difficult, especially if you intend to continue running the company for decades to come. Nevertheless, if you wait until you are ready to retire, you may have no one prepared to keep up the good work.

Training someone to handle all the aspects of the business for which you are now responsible takes time and patience. If you relinquish control little by little, your business will more likely be in excellent hands when you blow out the candles on your retirement cake.

Finding help along the way

Creating a business succession plan can be a complex undertaking, and it is wise to include your family and employees in the various stages. In fact, many business owners find that the more they involve their children in the day-to-day running of the operation, the more invested the children become in the company. This may make it easier to guide one or more of your children into leadership roles as you approach retirement age.

Of course, the logistics of preparing a succession plan can be complicated and may require re-evaluation and revision as years pass and your company and family evolve. Having experienced legal guidance can only benefit your efforts.

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Stevenson & Smith, P.C. | 3986 Washington Blvd. Ogden, UT 84403 | Phone: 801-399-9910 | Fax:801-399-9954 | Map & Directions