If you are thinking about staying in your business but gradually stepping back, you may find that preparing your business requires more than it seems—especially if the business needs to stay successful to continue to fund your life (and your family’s). There are important questions to ask to begin the preparation.
These questions are designed to spotlight the leadership elements that will need to be improved to keep the business successful, protect key employees and customer reputation, and fund you as you step back. There are strategic, financial, and tax considerations also, of course.
1. How well is the business operating in terms of financials, customer satisfaction, and quality?
2. How much are you over-functioning to ensure acceptable business results?
3. Is there an internal candidate capable of growing the business?
4. What are the key development needs of the internal candidate?
5. Can the candidate be developed successfully within three years?
6. If there is no internal candidate, what is your plan for a new leader?
7. What is the composition of the current leadership team?
8. Does the team function as your staff, or as leaders responsible for business results?
9. What data do you use to track performance between financial statements?
10.How will you track performance when you are significantly less present in the business?
Changes in Your Role
11.How well has the business operated when you have been away for an extended time?
12.What parts of your functions would you first delegate to a successor leader?
13.What parts would you maintain until the successor demonstrates significant skills?
14.Who will maintain and cultivate key supplier relationships?
15.How have you defined your role—as owner or business leader?
If you want to step back from the day-to-day operation of your business, preparation is paramount. Asking these questions will help launch the hard work of understanding the roles you currently play, and how you can empower others to invest themselves in the business. The preparation will reap benefits for your customers, your employees, and for you.
Contributed by Jim Grew