When the founder of a small business passes on, the void the person leaves behind can be damaging. In addition to personal loss, the company may face drastic changes in daily operations, client interaction and employee morale. With the proper planning, your business can have legal and personal steps in place that allow it to continue flourishing.

Owner uncertainty

The worst can happen at any time, leaving your company without guidance or support. A lack of succession planning can leave your family and business partners with an uncertain future, both emotionally and financially. Establishing who will take over should disaster strike will help operations transition smoothly.

No one knows his or her company like a small business owner does, and that is not always a good thing. Businesses will stall without someone knowledgeable at the wheel. Taking the time to train a replacement will make sure no one is scrambling to learn the ins and outs of your work. Instead of having relatives and loved ones step in and attempt to figure things out, make sure your estate planning takes future business ownership into consideration.

Customer support

The bread and butter of any small business is customer interaction. Often times, it is the owner and his or her personality that is the driving force behind a large customer base. When that person is gone, clients can feel unease about continued dealings with an unknown entity.

Your customers will be much more assured in their dealings if they are familiar with the new boss or even know that they have an experienced contact. This also helps to prevent infighting and court battles to determine who should be in charge, keeping your business on sure footing and preventing family feuds that can cause even more pain.

No matter what business you are in, it pays to prepare your organization for the inevitable. Waiting may only leave your loved ones with the task of taking over. Crafting an organized and comprehensive succession plan is the best way to ensure your business’s future.