Many business owners focus on finding the right person to succeed them once they resign or pass away. Picking a new owner is a crucial decision that can make or break a company once the original owner no longer has control of the operation. However, a business succession plan may need to fill multiple roles in the company, not just the ownership position.

Where you find your successor will help determine how many positions you need to fill. Some business owners seek out a successor from outside the company. However, other owners may want to promote a successor from within the company. This is because some owners feel that an existing employee knows the business and already commands the respect of many of the people who work there.

Entrepreneur.com explains that if you as an owner should find a person within your company to serve as your successor, you now have you two positions to fill, both your position as owner and the position of the person you seek to promote. For instance, if you have chosen a high-level manager to be the new owner, you will have to provide for a new person to fill that role as manager once the previous manager has moved up.

Some business owners play multiple roles in their operation. Depending on their skill sets, owners may play both managerial and sales roles in their company. However, some owners cannot find a successor that can fill all the roles that they currently play in the business. These owners may have to break down the leadership structure of their business into multiple positions, like a managerial role and a sales role, and hire a person to fill each position.

Once you have broken down your own position into various roles, you can identify the kinds of skills needed for each position. This can help you find people within your company who have those skills, or to seek out qualified people outside the company and bring them in. If you have family members you want to succeed you, starting your succession plan early is wise since you can start training them to take on the roles you want.