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Sorry tale of an SME simply closing the doors


Sorry tale of an SME simply closing the doors

By , November 8, 2011

I was sadly, not surprised to read only last week in my local paper the story of a family owned business with the owners planning to retire in November and have simply chosen to close the doors despite trading for over 40 years. The story includes the very familiar comment “our son and daughter have worked here for 15 years but they didn’t want to take it on” a trend which has been emerging for the last five years and is typical of family businesses unfortunately.

The owners also state that they have been unable to have a holiday since 1995 and have attended the business every day to feed the fish!

Importantly, the article also recognises business owners fear (often well founded) that whilst they may be able to transition the ownership by selling transitioning the management was more of an issue and may well cause them to have to return to their business – “we are quite passionate about what we do and are wary of people coming in and not being able to support it with the rent money” the owner said “we thought if the new owners failed we would have to come back in.”

Sadly this has led to the decision to close the doors after 40 years retire in November and walk away.

Craig West

Craig West

Managing Director | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.