Succession planning often gets confused with Estate Planning. While similar, they are also different. Estate Planning is the process of the transfer of wealth and assets, which a business may be a part. Succession Planning on the other hand is the process of transferring both ownership and control of a business, with the goal of keeping the business open and operating in one way or another.
The Small Business Succession Planning Program at Kent State University can assist you in a a couple of ways. The first step is to contact us to have discussion around your broader succession planning goals and objectives (personal, financial, and for the business); we will then help you review your broader options and then discuss whether a sale to the employees is worth further exploration. We also have webinars on various topics and publications that you can review on your own time. The initial consultation, either by phone or in person, is usually at no charge. Depending on choices made, further work may be on a fee for service basis.
With support from the Cleveland Foundation, we have published a new book on business succession planning Business Succession Planning: An Owners Manual. The book provides business owners with basic information and worksheets that enable the development of an initial business succession plan. It is designed following a 5-step process that includes:
1. Defining Goals and Objectives, for your business and yourself (and family)
2. Determining how much your company is worth
3. Exploring available options for selling or transferring your business
4. Developing and implementing your succession plan
5. Developing a personal plan for the next stage of your life