August 2013 – Take Account of the Future and Make Sure of Your Succession

accountants need to knowResearch has shown that a third of bosses become anxious when returning to work after a long summer holiday.  A survey carried out by Investors in People South showed that 31% of the managers questioned worried that problems will have occurred while they are away that may not have been handled properly.

The findings highlight an area often overlooked by business owners and managers during their normal day to day work – making sure the business will thrive and survive if they’re not there – and it’s not just a morbid worry about something unpleasant happening.  As accountants we’re often involved in planning for the happier events in life, such as looking forward to a well earned and active retirement, and for many business owners this means letting the business thrive in their absence while they continue to draw a residual income.

The plan can only work, of course, if the business does continue to thrive.  You have to have the right staff in place to take over and develop the business, people whose judgement you trust and who you can rely on not to waste your legacy.

This is not something you can do effectivley in the last three months before you retire.  If you start thinking about who can fill your shoes much earlier on, this longer term view will have several benefits:

  • You have much longer to decide whether or not the person is in fact right to take over, and replace them if not.
  • Having someone who can take over the running of the business competently frees you up from a lot of the day to day running, giving you time to develop the business in other ways.  This can then lead to further success and growth in the business.
  • You can take breaks from the business much sooner, allowing you to enjoy your holidays and time off, knowing the business is in safe hands.

So putting your succession firmly in place sooner rather than later makes commercial, financial and personal sense.