There are plenty of resources online providing advice for business owners putting a succession plan together, but what about the successor? If you have been identified as a possible candidate to take over the business, you should not simply wait around for it to happen. Below, we provide some top tips regarding the steps that successors need to make at a financial advisory firm prior to taking over.
- Clarify what is expected of you – First and foremost, you need to determine what is expected of you in terms of management skills, as well as the knowledge needed to fill the void left by the current owner. Will you be leading the company with other members of the financial advisory firm, or will the sole responsibility fall on your shoulders? You will also need to discover whether you are the only candidate in contention or whether others are being considered. You won’t be able to prepare efficiently if you are not aware of what is to be expected.
- Keep your rivals close – There is always intrigue whenever there is a transition at a business and, of course, there are going to be people that are jealous of your position. They will think that they are a better fit for the job and that you do not deserve it. These people may not be your friends, but you should keep them close, as they may have good ideas and valid points. You have to find a way to balance their ill intentions and aspirations so that you can keep them in the fold and profit from what they have to say.
- Establish your own ideas – New deserves new. While it is important to make sure you fill the void left by the owner, you should not merely try to be a copycat of him or her. You should come up with a few of your own ideas as well. Excellent successors need to establish their leadership and plan for the growth of the firm. New ideas tell employees that things are going to get better, and they help you to establish your authority. People don’t want to hear the same thing again.
- Get feedback – It is important to get feedback; this will only make you better. Often, people are only going to do what you say because of the position you are in. This does not mean they agree with it, and most will be unlikely to challenge it; after all, you are in charge. This is why it is wise to encourage feedback.
- Consider all of those impacted by the transition – You need to think about everyone that is going to be impacted by the transition and find a way to manage them properly. This includes everyone from clients to those who wanted the top spot and did not get it. There may be a number of potential customers and clients that surface because of you becoming the successor.