Small business planning in 12 steps

We only have 10 employees. So, how do you fix the problem? I wrote an article a while back titled 4 Characteristics for Creating High Performance Organizations. In it I discussed 4 things you need to have present in order to create a high performance organization:

Small business planning in 12 steps

In my company, for example, we have a department manager who is nearing retirement in the next 18 months, yet we have no one identified as his potential successor or anyone shadowing him to learn all that he knows, for that matter.

To put it into context, SPOF is not limited to only those with decades of experience who may be retiring. Though we want to hold on to our employees, who is to say someone with specialized skills, knowledge or authority may just up and quit someday to pursue another career?

small business planning in 12 steps

As business leaders, we need to be prepared for such events to ensure the healthy continuity of our businesses and organizations. Fortunately, succession planning is not hard, nor does not have to be complicated; but it is extremely important.

Here are the 7 steps to building a solid succession plan for your business: In my firm, we dedicate one day every year to talk about staff succession plans.

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Build succession planning meetings into your annual business operating cycle. Create a Success Planning Template To get the most out of your time with the team, create a simple template that you can use to organize thoughts and names of personnel.

They key to a good succession planning template is that it should be simple, it should visually tell you where you have issues, and it should be something that you can easily draw up to help you should an employee depart your business. Outline Critical Roles, Skills and People The next step in the succession planning process is to outline critical roles, personnel and skills in your organization.

Examples of SPOFs might include: Looking at the Future of Your Business When it comes to selecting people to list as possible successors, identify the names of other potential candidates for that position who are elsewhere in your company.

The key here is to try to answer YES to the following three questions: Would this person be able to do this job, with the right preparation? Would this person want this job, with the right preparation? The list will give you an idea of who might be able to step into that role with the proper development.

There is a key point here though that we must highlight: For instance, if an employee has little kids at home and does not want to travel, listing he or she as a successor to the Sales Manager who spends days a year on the road is not a good idea!


We have also organized the names of potential successors according to when they might be ready to take that position. Look for Trends on Your Template Once you have gone through the succession planning exercise and have a list of names compiled, look for any trends or issues.

Also, Bob, Wendy and Nicole show up more than once, suggesting they are high valued employees. Having sat through a number of succession planning events, you will find that certain names of high valued employees show up often because they are very capable. And you will find that there are certain roles in your business where there are very few potential successors who could be identified.


One on One meetings are the best time for these discussions to take place. For example, if an employee expresses interest in taking a certain position at some point in the future, make note of it.

Equally, if someone begins to express dissatisfaction with the direction your business is going, you may need to be on the lookout for someone to replace them should they leave.

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Having details and knowing the direction where you employees may be headed is crucial to setting up long-term succession plans. So while there may just be a single day set aside for the formal conversations each year, effective succession planning should really be an ongoing activity for you and your managers.Small Business Handbook Small Business Safety Management Series OSHA R Small Business Handbook Small Business Safety Management Series OSHA R You can start business by using the 10 easy steps guide below.

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