You’ve worked hard for your business. You had a dream and you are making it a reality. You want to be successful. In order to be successful, you must make the right decisions. You will need to problem solve, research and make goals. You want your legacy to live on through your company. You never want to think about being replaced. You’ve made this business what it is and will continue to make it great.

As you think about your business and goals, it might benefit you to think about a replacement. You won’t want to work forever-and if you do, you will have to stop working at some point. In order to set your business up for success, you will want to create a succession plan. Just as you carefully crafted a business plan for your business, you will want to put time and consideration into your succession plan.

Start by being proactive with hiring and training employees.

You will want to groom current employees to take leadership roles. Identify your top performing employees and find out if they are interested in growing within the business. If so, mentor them. Train them on different aspects of the company. You will want to offer feedback to these employees and help them set goals. You can keep your succession plan in mind as you hire new employees. Fill any gaps in talent that would occur if your key employees were to slip into new roles upon your departure. Keep an open mind when hiring new employees. A new employee may be a better fit in your succession plan than your current prospect.

Keep an open mind and have clear vision.

You want to be proactive in creating your succession plan. Know that the succession plan may need to change at any time. Keep multiple employees in mind so you have a backup plan should your first candidate become unavailable. Make your company vision clear to all employees. You want your business to be your legacy, so you will want to ingrain your vision within your staff. Make sure they understand your goals, values and principles. You will want your successors to agree with these visions and carry them on.

Take the plan for a test run.

It can be beneficial, both for your succession planning and your employees, when you do a trial run. Your employees can get a better understanding of what their responsibilities in their new role would be. They can see what they need to work on. You will better understand how you can help prepare them. You may also see different talents and potentials in candidates that you didn’t consider before.