Succession planning for local businesses

As a local business owner, creating a financially stable future for yourself, your employees and your clients is a high priority, and one of the best ways you can do that is developing a succession plan.

This type of planning allows owners to identify leaders and key employees in the business and how the business will carry on in their absence.

Some business owners mistakenly believe that they can leave their company at any time, with little to no preparations. Unfortunately, this outlook can place unnecessary stress on you, the employees and the future owner. Here are a few benefits to creating your exit plan now.

Planning ahead

One of the main benefits of succession planning is the opportunity to plan ahead, instead of focusing on the immediate future. Some business owners focus their energy on the here and now, feeling the stress growing their organization or keeping their business financially solvent.

However, succession planning allows you to look ahead and give careful thought to the longevity of the company. This, in turn, will also help you make better decisions for your company here and now, because you will have your end goal in mind.

Peace of mind

Another benefit is the added security for the company, future owners and customers. With an exit plan, there will be reassurance that the company will provide the goods and services that customers need and rely on, as well as provide stability for employees and their families.

A plan for the successor of the business will provide everyone at the company, including yourself, peace of mind about the future.

Identifying your priorities

Creating a transition plan for your company will allow you to clearly identify what your own exit objectives are. Exit planning takes into consideration your own goals as an owner and how you want the company to carry on, so nothing is left to chance.

Some questions to consider: How much control do you want over the business after your exit? Are you financially ready to retire? Is your own team ready for you to leave the business?

Answering these questions will give you a clearer understanding of your own priorities throughout the transition, so you can incorporate them into the succession plan.

Blackhawk Bank is here to help

Between the day-to-day operations, managing employee schedules, and solving immediate issues, planning ahead can sometimes take a backseat. However, whether you plan to exit your business in the next 5- or 25-years planning, planning for a future when you are no longer at the helm of all business decisions is important.

Rick Zonts, SVP & Market Leader, and myself are ready to help you navigate the next steps and want to make sure your business continues to grow and flourish long after you decide to retire or sell. Are you ready to learn how Blackhawk Bank can help? Contact us today.

• Jim Reynolds CExP is Vice President Business Banking at Blackhawk Bank and can be reached at Rick Zonts is Senior Vice President & Market Leader at Blackhawk Bank and can be reached at

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