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Getting Ready for the Upcoming Chapter: Retiring Entrepreneurs and Succession Management

Making the decision to retire is a significant accomplishment for any business owner. It stands for years of achievement, perseverance, and hard work. However, this shift can also be unsettling for a lot of family business owners, especially when it comes to transferring ownership to the following generation.

Retiring business owners frequently wonder if their kids are prepared and capable of taking over. Many of us have heard the following scenario before: “I want to retire, but I’m not sure if my son has what it takes to keep things going.” Although this concern can be difficult, there are things you can do to help guarantee a seamless transfer and identify your successor.

Evaluate Readiness and Interest

The first thing to do is determine if the person you have chosen to succeed you is both qualified and eager to take the company forward. Having frank discussions about their professional aspirations, company strategy, and personal assets might yield insightful information.

Create a Succession strategy

It is imperative to have a well-defined and organized succession strategy. Describe the timetable for the changeover, the assigned tasks, and any necessary training or mentoring. This strategy can act as a road map for you and your replacement.

Provide Training and Mentorship

Your successor’s preparedness can be greatly improved by devoting time to their training and mentorship. Over time, encourage them to take on greater responsibility by sharing your knowledge and experience with them.

Set Clear Expectations

Make sure your successor understands your expectations for their role. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals to help them stay focused and measure their progress.

Provide Support and Autonomy

While it’s essential to offer guidance and support, it’s equally important to give your successor space to make their own decisions and learn from their experiences. Encourage their independence and trust their judgment.

Gradual Transition

Consider a gradual transition to allow your successor to gain experience and confidence while you remain available for support. This approach can ease the transition for both you and your successor.

Encourage Open Communication

Maintain open lines of communication with your successor and the rest of the team. Regular check-ins can help address concerns and ensure everyone is on the same page.


Transitioning your business to the next generation is a significant and often emotional process. By taking a thoughtful and proactive approach, you can increase the likelihood of a successful handover and secure the future of your family business. Remember, preparing your successor involves more than just passing down the business—it’s about nurturing their growth and leadership skills.

At the end of the day, seeing your successor thrive and continue the legacy you’ve built can be one of the most rewarding aspects of retiring from a family business. With careful planning and support, you can set your successor up for success and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.