As a business owner, your days are full and the years pass quickly — before you know it, retirement is not far away. If you’ve worked hard to build your own business, a well-thought-out plan for passing the reins to a successor can provide peace of mind. Whether you transition your company to a family member, a long-time employee or a new buyer, a succession plan can ensure a smooth transition that helps secure your wealth and your legacy.
“The day you go into business is the day you should start planning how you’re going to get out of it. I think it’s just as important and sometimes just as difficult. That’s why the planning part is so critical,” says Tom Trapp, former dealer principal at Bobcat Enterprises in Ohio.
Planning early gives you the upper hand and allows you more time to consider the various exit options available to meet your goals. The checklist below will help you get started.
Ultimately, creating a succession plan as early as possible keeps more control in your hands for how you’re going to step away from your business life and move into your retirement life.