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If you are starting to think about retirement or just want to spend less time on your business without giving up total control, consider hiring a temporary Chief Executive Officer. Using an interim CEO lets you see what life is like outside of your business. It also can be a great way to transition to retirement or other new ventures.

Advantages of hiring an interim CEO

Advantages of hiring an interim CEO include the ability to step back in if your inner control freak won’t let you give up the reins. It also means that customers and vendors are still dealing with the same owner. In addition, hiring a CEO is much less complicated than a full-blown exit and may boost the value of your business by demonstrating that it doesn’t need your daily involvement.

Challenges of hiring an interim CEO

A downside of hiring a CEO is that you’ll have to trust someone else to run your business. Not every hire will work out, so you may have a false start before finding the right person. If the new CEO’s leadership style or personality is different from yours (and it will be), employees may be less inclined to work as hard or as well as they did for you. Perhaps the most obvious drawback is that you will need to pay the new CEO a big chunk of the money that you used to pay yourself.

While it may not be the best choice for owners who expect to continue taking significant amounts of cash out of the business, testing the waters with an interim CEO can be a great way to literally buy more time as you refine your ultimate exit strategy.