- Share the Plan. Because we like to pretend that our top people will never retire or die – that things will always be exactly the same as they are today – succession plans and preparations are generally kept secret. Very, very secret. All this means is that if the founding partner and the designated successor are the only two people in the car when it goes over the cliff, no one else will ever know what the plan was. A good founder has no more than 35 years at the helm of their own company when it matters. Make sure that everyone in the firm knows who will succeed, and let them know if the plan changes.
As a consultant, I like to give my clients a simple rule about starting and operating a business. Particularly a small business. The rule is that you should never get into a new venture without knowing how you will get out.
Even if “getting out” refers to being carried out in a pine box.