If you are like most business owners, you probably want to keep your business in the family. You have worked hard over many years to build a successful company. You know what it took to start up your company, navigate the pitfalls that confront every business owner, and with time, life education and experience, your patience and hard work paid off. You now run a successful company.

Never before has society changed so rapidly. New technologies crop up daily. How do you leverage your brick-and-mortar company for relevance in an online world? You gave it a lot of thought, and you have a plan. The question is, can you implement it before you retire?

Retirement plans prompt business succession planning

This is the point where many business owners get stuck. They know they have a few years left to transfer the business to one or two family members who have the desire and the capacity to run the company. But the new owners will need training. Business succession planning sounds great, but you may push it to the back of your mind when running the company eats up all your time.

You are still in control of your business

A sound business succession plan should ideally begin 10 years before you plan to retire. Even five years ahead of retirement is a reasonable amount of time to get a new owner up and running. Your up-front investment in time and effort to train your successor will be intense, but remember, as the owner learns the business, it is your job to slowly back out of the picture. You can retain oversight and general control, but give day-to-day operations to your chosen successor.

Meanwhile, rediscover the fun you had on the golf course before you were working 12-hour days. Plan a vacation with your spouse or visit your married children at their out-of-state homes. These truly are your golden years. You deserve to reap the success of your lifetime of work. A business succession plan can include a generous retirement income for you to enjoy.

If the new owner gets into deep water, you are always a phone call away to help provide a solution. Letting the new person struggle a bit on his or her own is part of the process. Your business is safe should something unforeseen happen. If for no other reason, secure your family’s future by making your business succession plan without delay.