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Bringing on a Full-Time CEO How to know when it's time to hand over the reins to someone else

By Ben Casnocha

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are the pros and cons to being a teenage CEO. On the onehand, the "kid factor" can get you in the door; havingthe title CEO is always cool; and, well, you're a CEO andyou're not even out of college! There are disadvantages,however--which you might not even recognize until your businessstarts growing. When your business starts to outgrow your limitedwork day, it's time to start the search for an experienced,full-time CEO.

When Is the RightTime?
This is the hardest question to answer. And it's probably goingto be a decision you, assuming you're the current CEO, willhave to make. Not always (for example, if you're not gettingthe job done so your board ousts you), but usually. So when is theright time? Your company could be growing enormously, your clientsmay be so satisfied that they want more, and your competitors maykeep you awake all night. As a result, say hasta la vista to thebasketball team and the Saturday night party, and start sayinghello to poor grades. This is when you need to give up the reins.Your company can't wait for you to get out of school.

So you need a what? The first step is to create a specsheet outlining the issues the CEO will tackle. Sit down withadvisors and business partners to determine what the CEO should beexpected to do. Whether it's new sales calls, writing abusiness plan or doing administrative work, write it all down.

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