It Will Take at Least Five Years to Properly Groom Your Successor
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It Will Take at Least Five Years to Properly Groom Your Successor

It Will Take at Least Five Years to Properly Groom Your Successor

When some people hear the words "succession planning" it's like hearing the adults in the old "Peanuts" TV program - Wha Wha Wha Wha, Wha Wha Wah, Whaaaaaaa. Still others when asked if they have a successor in place, quickly change the topic because thinking about it makes their face hurt. It really is no different than asking the new CEO of a company to start thinking about their replacement when they have not been in their role for very long.

But what if that same CEO a year later was required to identify a potential successor and start the grooming process as part of how their performance was rated. I suspect it would be a little easier. That's because the CEO is compensated not only by salary but the performance of the business. And the longevity of the business is just as important as its current state. And when the unknown hits - like Covid-19 - the business is impacted even more so. This makes the current leadership team and performance critical because the business has to be agile enough to get through to the other side.

Your multi-unit operation is more valuable and profitable over time. For your business to survive, it is critical to imagine what the future looks like and have a plan of action should your attention be drawn to other areas. It's also important to consider the lifestyle you imagine for you and your family and consider the steps it will take to financially live out the dream you started.

We hear all the "reasons" why multi-unit franchisees do not want to start planning for their "what's next". The reality is that it is not an overnight process and depending on the layers of your business and who is involved, it can take a minimum of five years to properly groom your successor. In fact, you might be reading this and wishing you had done more planning before Covid-19 hit.

Here are some tools and resources to help you get started:

  1. Understand all the interdependent components of succession planning, which you can find in our Succession Matrix®
  2. Identify potential successor
  3. Develop a successor training curriculum

It is never too late to get started. But it can be too late because you never started. That's what we are seeing with so many businesses being impacted by Covid-19. Knowledge is power and it can help you set the foundation to navigate any unknown now or in the future. Protect the future of your business, your employees, your financial health, and your family sooner rather than later!

 Kendall Rawls knows and understands the challenges that impact the success of an entrepreneurial owned business. Her unique perspective comes not only from her educational background; but, more importantly, from her experience as a second-generation family member employee of The Rawls Group - Business Succession Planners. For more information, visit or email

Published: July 27th, 2020

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