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Any successful business owner is interested in planning for growth, modernization, and relevance in an uncertain future. There are many factors to consider, including who will take the reins of a company after the current generation of leaders. The following steps can help set some measurable goals while building the skills and resources necessary to achieve them.

Map Out the Next Five Years

Although it might be tempting to remain focused on the immediate future and how to meet the most pressing demands of a business, it is helpful to take a step back and envision what the company should look like several years down the road. 

Some of the critical factors to consider during this process include creating benchmarks for growth and increased profitability, establishing clear companywide values to help shape its future, planning for investments in new technology, and clearly defining various executive and managerial positions within the business structure.

Prepare for a Transition Period

At some point, a business owner must be prepared for retirement, which means a new leader will be at the helm with a unique vision and plan for taking the company through its next period of growth. Of course, the current owner should have some significant input into the succession plan, so it is helpful to begin thinking about certain details as early as possible.

This complex plan can address a variety of important issues, such as how much money the owner would need to sell the company, what terms such a sale would require, and whether to remain part of the business even after stepping down as its leader.

Describe the Perfect Replacement

Although it might be impossible to find a prospective business leader with every talent and skill that an owner might believe is necessary for the position, it can be helpful to create a detailed list describing what characteristics will be conducive for continued success in the future.

If a company will be passed down to someone in the family, for example, such a transition will require some serious thought regarding which relative has the respect, ambition, perseverance, and know-how that will help lead the company into its next chapter.