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What to Expect with Business Transition Planning

05/28/2024 - Business Planning, Growing Your Business

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In the lifecycle of any business, change is inevitable. Whether you’re preparing for a change in ownership, leadership succession or restructuring, having a plan in place to navigate business transitions successfully is critical. That’s where business transition planning comes in.

What is a Business Transition Plan?

A business transition plan outlines the strategies and steps you will take to smoothly transfer ownership, management or operations from one entity to another. Business transition planning consists of a comprehensive roadmap to address various aspects of the transition, including leadership succession, ownership transfer, operational changes and communication strategies.

Business transition plans are typically developed when your business undergoes significant changes such as mergers, acquisitions, leadership changes, retirement of key personnel or restructuring. The plan aims to minimize disruptions, ensure continuity of operations and maximize the value of the business throughout the transition process.

Creating a Business Transition Strategy

A business transition strategy is complex and involves multiple vital steps and key input from core stakeholders. Don’t know where to start? These five beginning steps will help you ensure a smooth and successful transition.

1. Set Clear Goals

What are your goals for your business transition plan? At this stage, you want to set clear objectives for the transition, including financial targets and overall desired outcomes and timelines.

 2. Form a Business Transition Team

There should be a set group of key stakeholders who are involved throughout the business transition process, including owners, managers, legal experts and financial advisors. Having a set team throughout this process ensures tasks are properly delegated and all key voices are heard.

3. Create a Communication Plan

Develop a communication strategy to keep all stakeholders informed throughout the business transition process, including employees, customers, suppliers and other relevant parties. Communicating early and often prevents the spread of worry and misinformation, ultimately leading to a more seamless process for everyone—from clients or customers to leadership and employees.

4. Establish Plan Milestones

Set business transition plan milestones and deadlines to keep the team on track. These milestones serve as checkpoints. If you are not meeting your milestones, it’s time to adjust the plan accordingly.

5. Plan for Risks

With any change to the business, there are potential risks and challenges. As you create your business transition plan, identifying potential challenges associated with the transition can set you up to solve them quicker. You and your team will want to develop strategies to overcome these potential problems early, so you don’t waste valuable time should the situation arise.

Talk with a Business Transition Consultant

A business transition consultant can help you create a solid transition plan. At WesBanco, our consultants understand that every business is unique and can help you create an effective business transition strategy. So, whether you’re just beginning to think about a business transition or you’re already in the midst of one, we’re here to partner with you and ensure that your transition is a resounding success.

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Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.

While we hope you find this content useful, it is only intended to serve as a starting point. Your next step is to speak with a qualified, licensed professional who can provide advice tailored to your individual circumstances. Nothing in this article, nor in any associated resources, should be construed as financial or legal advice. Furthermore, while we have made good faith efforts to ensure that the information presented was correct as of the date the content was prepared, we are unable to guarantee that it remains accurate today.

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