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How should family business owners navigate succession?

You spent a lot of time and energy building and improving your family business in Delaware, but you want to retire soon. Whom do you see inheriting your company and all the effort you put into it?

Harvard Business Review explores the finer points of succession planning for family entities. Learn how to feel confident in your candidate while taking care of your current employees.

Start sooner

Do yourself and your company a favor and build your succession plan now rather than wait until you retire. Getting started now gives you and your workforce plenty of time to prepare for the hand-off. If you already chose a successor, introduce the person to your employees so everyone gets used to each other while you remain in your current position. Your presence may help ease the transition for all involved.

Choose a candidate with proven skills

In a family business, non-family workers may feel a successor only got the job because of nepotism rather than actual business skill. To avoid bad blood in the workplace, select a successor with the right skills, qualities, education and experiences for the job. Do not be afraid to challenge your candidate to step up to the role, as a display of hard work could instill confidence in your non-family workers.

Make your employees feel valued

Do not feel that your non-family employees cannot help bring your successor on board. While you likely have much to teach and show your business heir, your workers likely have a lot of wisdom and experience to share, too. Let your employees know how much you value them and everything they bring to the table by giving them a voice.

Succession represents a vital aspect of estate planning. Not only must you take care of your beneficiaries, but your employees, too.

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