20 questions: a checklist for succession planning

Succession planning is a process that many business people leave to the last. That’s understandable – it’s not a task that falls into the ‘urgent’ tray. But it is important – and like many important, but not urgent, matters there is a way to get them done: create a process. Remember – succession is a process not an event!

 Succession planning is a process that many business people leave to the last. That’s understandable – it’s not a task that falls into the ‘urgent’ tray. But it is important – and like many important, but not urgent, matters there is a way to get them done: create a process. Remember – succession is a process not an event!

Have you considered your succession completion date – the date that you will be out of your business with it transferred to new ownership?

Do you know the processes involved in transferring your business to new ownership?

Is the continuity of the business important to you?

Do you have another business partner(s) who needs to be involved in your succession plan?

If need be, would you be prepared to continue working in the business post sale?

Have you identified likely purchasers of your business?

Do those purchasers need assistance with funding?

Do you have a current indicative valuation of your business?

Do you believe that the business has any goodwill value?

Are you primarily dependent on the maximisation of value from your business in order to fund your post succession lifestyle?

Do you need some tax planning prior to transfer of ownership or after the transfer has taken place?

Is your industry subject to potential dramatic change in the next 5 years?

Are there larger businesses buying up and consolidating businesses of your type at present or is this happening in your indus- try overseas?

Are you able to totally leave your business and have it run without you in no worse position and performance for 2 months? 4 months? 6 months?

Is your business' regulatory requirements fully up to date?

Are there any warranties, contingencies or commitments outstanding in your business?

Do you have a lease in place for your business premises and can it be assigned?

Do you have detailed systems in place to operate your business instead of this information being held mainly by the people in your business?

Do you expect to see an increase in business succession within your industry in the short term?

Are business plans, strategic plans, financial budgets, cash flow forecasts, breakeven analysis and asset replacement plans readily available to showcase your business?

This story originally appeared in Succeed.