You may enjoy running your company so much that it is difficult to think about passing it on to someone else. However, the time to choose your business successor is long before you anticipate needing one.
There are several good reasons to choose your successor early on. In the first place, something unexpected could happen and your successor may have to take on the business sooner than you anticipated. Also, the process of choosing and grooming a successor can take a long time. When you are ready to decide on a successor, here are some qualities you should look for specifically.
1. Eager to assume ownership
It may be fairly easy to find potential successors who are willing to take on ownership of the business out of a sense of duty. However, you should look for someone for whom owning your business would be the fulfillment of a dearly held aspiration.
2. Willing to adapt their timetable to yours
While your successor should be eager to take on the business, the person you choose should also be willing to adapt his or her timetable to yours. In other words, your successor should be able to wait until you are ready to step down as the owner. Once you choose your successor, you should discuss your timetable with him or her to make sure that you have the same expectations as to when the change in ownership will take place.
3. Able to learn
Your successor does not need to have the same qualities that you do. The person you choose will bring his or her own experience and talents to the job. However, he or she should have the ability to learn what works and what does not, as well as how his or her unique qualities can fit into that existing paradigm.
You should not necessarily look for a successor who is exactly like you. The business may benefit from a fresh perspective.