If you’ve owned a business, you know it’s a decision you’ll ultimately have to face: how can business succession planning help you make a graceful exit?
When I turn 70 at the end of 2017, I will officially retire. However, since announcing these intentions on January 1, 2015, I’ve been taking the steps towards the transition one at a time by having three years to put business succession plans in place.
This has left me with three priorities to check off my “to do” list:
- Get help with my workload
- Go on vacation without taking work with me
- Have a succession plan for my practice
By announcing my retirement well in advance of the official date, I’ve hoped to create comfort with clients by giving them ample time for the news to settle in. But this advanced notice has given us plenty of time for transitioning the workload to other members of our team, as well as put buy-sell agreements in place.
So who’s taking over Pearson Bollman Law once I retire?
Leadership in the practice will be transitioning to Matt Bollman who has been a partner in the firm for 5-1/2 years. Our succession plan has allowed the transition to be a slow and deliberate process rather than a frantic and abrupt one. This has allowed Matt to ease into the role as well as tap my experience when questions arise or the inevitable hiccup occurs.
This deliberate pace has also given us the opportunity to add another attorney to our team – Michelle Triplett. With adequate time for us to work together, Michelle has appreciated how smooth the transition has gone because she’s had the time to get thoroughly grounded and put her own systems in place.
These steps will help the firm continue forward in my absence. This process has also given our clientele plenty of notice of my retirement plans so they can make adjustments of their own, get acquainted with other members of our team and warmed up to the idea long before I exit the working world.
So we’ve put a succession plan in place. And added new staff to help lighten my workload.
Now, about those vacations where I leave work at home…
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