In business, whether small or large, laying the groundwork for a calm and successful transition when ownership or leadership changes will be very important to the continued success of that business.
Many smaller business are family owned and no matter how many employees you have, knowing there is a plan in place and laying out how that transition will be made will help make everyone feel more secure.
You may develop a plan using internal staff to fill key business and leadership positions in the company to maintain continuity when a change is imminent. Many organizations use a process that recruits superior employees, develops their knowledge, skills, and abilities and prepares them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles. This would allow them to be key elements in the decision a new owner makes in taking over a business. If you are expecting a family member or senior employee or other professional to take over, this would allow them the best chance of success.
Or you may prefer to set up a succession plan that completely changes the ownership and leadership roles everyone is currently filling. In that case, you would sell the business and the new owner would make all of the decisions of how things will proceed after the sale.
Regardless, thought should be given to the retention of key employees, and the consequences that having key employees leave may have on a business.
Consult with an attorney before making critical decisions that will affect not only you and your family, but many others. The terms and conditions involved in business contracts can have long-term effects on the health and success of a business.