Succession planning is not really a fun topic to talk about; most people don’t like to think about not being in their business, selling their business, or being too sick to run their business. It’s like writing a Will; you know you need to do it, but you put it off as it’s not the nicest thing you’d like to do with your day.
I get it, but succession planning is important and here’s why.
Most proprietors in the hospitality and tourism industry are in the thick of running their businesses day to day, week to week. With most of them being small businesses or owner/operator venues, they often don’t have the time to plan for a crisis, or the foresight to train someone to keep the venue running if they can’t be there.
Who do you trust to close the venue, or pay the bills, or manage your staff if you are not around? These are things you need to think about as a business owner and as an employer of staff. It’s fine if you haven’t thought about it yet, but it won’t be fine if you suddenly get ill, want to take a holiday last minute, or you are looking to sell your business for whatever reason.
Taking the time to plan and place procedures in your business is so important for success long term, and taking the time to train staff to help share some of the load is crucial to ongoing success of a venue. It may not just be for dire circumstances, you will undoubtably need to take a break/ holiday, and you need to be able to leave someone in your business that you trust to run it.
You should also want to set whomever it is running your business up for success, instead of them running around trying to figure everything at the last minute when you can’t come in.
Planning means having a management strategy; procedures for opening and closing the venue, detailed lists of suppliers, a log of when bills are due, passwords, and even social media login details are all part of things you do every day in your business. It will cost someone stepping in at the last minute a bunch of time, and cause much stress figuring things out if there is little or no guidance.
Not to mention having good strategy around how the venue is managed will assist you immensely when you go to try and sell your venue. If you can easily map out and show potential buyers how you run the business, how you track your profits, and that you have well trained staff to help carry the load if you are not there shows good management practice.
I know that succession planning is not at all sexy. You would rather be thinking about the 100 million other things to do in your business, but taking the time to write it all down, map it out, and train your staff to help you will set your business up for success in times that might be less than ideal.
Just my two cents,
Love to hear your thoughts, KB
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: