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Both small businesses and agricultural succession can ask these questions.

Succession Planning?  7 steps to make you stop and think

No matter how big or small your business is, you need talented people ready to take over key responsibilities when the present ones leave. Even the most successful companies can falter if they don’t have a smooth succession plan in place. Just remember, here at The Money Matrix, we practice what we preach, and we are currently going through the thinkings and the strategies below. 

What is succession planning?

A succession plan enables small businesses and agriculture entities to prepare for all contingencies by identifying and developing the next generation of leaders. It is a strategy to identify and develop future leaders, not just for the top but also for all levels. Keep reading the seven points that The Money Matrix has thought about to help you through this journey. Keep in mind when reading, any situation can change due to circumstances encountered by either the company or the thought of a successor.

1. Make a Plan with The Money Matrix and be proactive 

It’s possible to plan for the eventuality of a hard-to-replace employee or yourself leaving the company in advance, such as a planned retirement. But other times, you may be caught off guard by a sudden departure that leaves your company, or your agricultural enterprise shook. That’s why you need an exit strategy – to ensure you avoid surprises.

First, consider all the critical roles on your team/business/family/farm etc. and answer these two questions:

  • What’s the day-to-day impact of not having  Me in this position on our company or department?
  • If the person in My position died, took ill, checked out, and left, how would that affect our operations?

2. Start now and think a head who are your succession candidates

After you understand how a family member or a particular employee’s departure might affect the company, you can select other members who may step up and assume those roles.

Ask yourself today:

  • Who are the strongest candidates for stepping into a succession role?
  • Would those family members or team members need training? And, if so, what type? It’s one thing to understand what goes on in a business, but it’s a different kettle of fish to Run the books, make the strategic strategies and have the vision going forward of what you want the business to look like.
  • While the apparent successor to a role may be the person who is immediately next in line in an organisational chart, don’t discount another promising family of team members. Look for people who display the skills necessary to thrive in higher positions, regardless of their current title.

If you don’t already know, make sure that you ask your Daughter, Son, or Team members how they view their career goals in the business. You might have confident kids in mind for senior management roles or to take over from you, but when you introduce the idea, who’s to say whether they’ll be interested? Or not. If you haven’t already, talk to these people about how they view their professional future before making your succession choices; please do. This is where having The Money Matrix can help. We negotiate day in day out with family members and understand the dynamics of a business and how families can get caught in the emotional battles… Nothing is ever cast in stone during a succession plan, so be prepared.

3. Tell them you are thinking about them

You can explain to each protege in private meetings that they will have responsibilities that will 

become more critical as time goes on. Getting them ready in advance is better than expecting it to happen at the drop of a hat. Preparation is the key to success. A well thought out plan will make for a smooth transition, and everyone will have time to get their heads around decisions being made.  

4. Invest into professional learnings

The best way to prepare your succession choices for success is to invest in their professional development. Job rotation is an excellent way to help them gain additional knowledge and experience. How are their people skills, do they understand the books where are they laking? Please enable them to excel when they take over the business.   Having mentors can further enhance their soft skills, such as communication, empathy, diplomacy, etc. The best leaders are skilled at communicating and have polished interpersonal abilities.

5. Give it a go and have a trial run of your succession plan

Don’t wait until a crisis strikes to find out if an employee has the skills to take on a more advanced position Have a potential successor assume some manager’s responsibilities now start the grooming process. Are you going away? Please stay away from them a little longer and give them time to shine. They will gain valuable experience and appreciate the opportunity they are getting, and they may even realise that you know a lot and your job is more challenging than they thought. On your return, you will see if any training is needed to help them on their journey. It’s a win-win.

6. If you’re a small business and have no successor, why not Integrate this into your succession plan into your hiring strategy? Look beyond an employee and search for a successor.

As you identify family members or team members with the potential to succeed in critical roles in your organisation, be aware of any talent gaps they might leave behind. Knowing and understanding your talent gaps  can help you see if you need to get someone in to help in places lacking and help you focus your future needs of the person taking over but the business you are leaving behind. 

7. Think it through who will be your successor

When making a succession plan for your agricultural enterprise or your small business, keep in mind your key role and what is great about the things you know. Do your children or family member know what you. Maybe you’ll decide to take advantage of a new opportunity, have a well-earned rest and enjoy retiring earlier than you, though. It’s essential to appreciate the seeds you have sown.   Ask yourself, who is going to or could step into your shoes one day? And what can you do, starting now, to help that person prepare for the transition? The members of your family and team aren’t fixed assets —. But through effective succession planning, you can pave the way for the continuity so critical to your business’s future. Please don’t leave it to chance; use The Money Matrix to help you succeed in succession planning.

Call Eileen today on 08 8232 10 29 or email us at admin@themoneymatrix.net.au

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