Could someone easily step into your role at your company?

It is common for people who build their own businesses to think of their role in that business as indispensable. After all, you probably handle a significant amount of the daily operations. However, while it is okay to take pride in how much you do for your company, you shouldn't try to obfuscate your role or responsibilities.

If people close to you don't have the knowledge, understanding or authority to handle the role you play in the company, that could cause major issues in the future. If something happens to you, your business could soon fail. You need to plan for the future success of your company, even when you are no longer involved in its operations.

Concerns about the ability of someone else to manage the company are common, but don't let that stop you from succession planning. Without a careful plan, if you wind up injured in an accident or dying, the business you spent a lifetime building could very well die with you. If you want your company to be part of your legacy, you need to start planning for that now.

Create a daily operations manual for your successor

Ideally, you will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on training prior to the transition between your management and someone else's. However, that isn't always an option. By carefully enumerating the various responsibilities you manage for the company, you can create a guide for the person who takes over after you.

From how often you make client contacts to which bills get paid at what time of the month, there are many practical details about running your business that only you know. By collecting all that information in one place, you reduce the likelihood of important tasks going undone during transitional times.

Prepare legal documents to transfer ownership or management

There are many ways to transfer the ownership of your company to another person or move someone into your current role. The exact method you utilize will vary depending on the structure of your business and other factors.

Whether you create power of attorney documents to allow someone to step into your role if you become incapacitated or transfer on death orders for various accounts and holdings, you want to ensure that the person assuming control over your assets or business will handle it in a manner that reflects your values and what is best for the company.

An attorney can help you handle not only the details of succession planning but also the complex process of vetting individuals to assume your role within the business. The sooner you begin succession planning, the sooner you can rest easy in the fact that your business will succeed regardless of what happens to you.

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