Business Advice

How to use digital tools to succession plan

- April 10, 2024 2 MIN READ


In any business, big or small, having a succession plan is a safeguarding strategy to ensure processes are in place for all potential scenarios that may jeopardise its survival in years to come, explains Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia.

A succession plan supports long-term business continuity – and ensures that your business remains operational after the departure of key staff, leadership or you, the owner.

Whether it’s staffing issues, ushering in the next generation of leaders or the sale of the business, succession planning ensures that the business keeps on running.

Why you need a succession plan

Building a succession plan will depend on your business type, needs and goals. There are a number of questions you can ask yourself to identify what type of plan is right for you.

  • Who will be your successor? It’s important to consider the transferability of their skills and experience as well as whether they are genuinely invested in the business’ long-term success.
  • What is your vision for the business? The plan should identify any opportunities to sell the business or expand it into new areas.
  • When do you plan to retire or exit the business? Start to plan well in advance —at least 5-10 years before you plan to retire or exit.
  • How would a transition impact your customers? Scenario play on the impact your departure will have on your customers.

How tech helps with planning

Technology will also help you create and update your succession plans more efficiently and effectively, and you’ll be able to change and finesse as your plans grow and evolve.

Moreover, technology can help ease the transition for all parties. For you, it means the confidence in knowing you have safe-guarded all of your business processes for your successor. This includes customer histories, communications chains, prospect lists, billing status, and more. You will leave your successor in a position to quickly and efficiently adapt to running the business – eliminating the fear of needing to ‘start over.’

Keep this in mind as you plan your succession, as many businesses tend to lose customers – or even fail – after a hand-over to a new ownership. This is partly due to miscommunication between new management and customers, and an inability to realise business efficiencies.

Just like you adapt your business to the ever-changing environment, your succession plan should be reviewed and changed too.  And if you invest in the right technology, it will be an easy and profitable venture.

Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Now read this

6 questions to answer when succession planning or getting your business ready to sell