Retain top talent and develop a solid succession plan. It's not unheard of for a successful small business to fail to outlive its founder. To prevent this, the founder has to bring in quality management and groom the next generation to take over after he or she retires. "You have to surround yourself with talent that's equal or better than yourself," Lowry recommends. People are important in any business. "Surround yourselves with people that if when you leave, they can produce in a very efficient way."