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Your Business – Sale or Succession?

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Your Business – Sale or Succession?

By , October 1, 2019
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We’re a passionate bunch, aren’t we! Of course, I am talking about SME owners who live and breathe their business. Whilst this level of passion is necessary to enable us to push through the many difficult times that we have as business owners, it can cause blindness, particularly when it comes to planning our business succession.

Many business owners are inclined to leave their succession too late and will end up “selling their business” rather than “succeeding out” of it.

This often causes two issues:

  1. The financial return is not optimised; and
  2. The business is left without the structure, skills and momentum that is required for it and the new leaders to succeed

Three of the keys to effective business succession are:

Post Business Purpose

As the business owner, you will need to be very clear on what your own future looks and feels like once you have left the business. What will you replace the purpose of your business life with? We have seen business owners unconsciously “sabotage” their own business succession because they don’t have this sorted!

Start Early – Be Deliberate

It takes time to prepare a team to take over the work that you have been doing. How much time? Often 2-3 years are necessary to fashion a business into the best shape for succession. You will need a deliberate program to de-risk, to optimise the financial performance and to develop the leaders that will be your next generation. It is also very important to remember that the risk of an unplanned succession increases the longer that we stay in the business.

Refine your Role

It’s a difficult thing to do, but joyous to be a part of seeing business owners refining their role – often from an operational/in-charge type role to more wisdom and business development roles. In many cases, this has prolonged the time that the business owner spends in the business and ends up as a softer exit. This provides a better transition for both the business owner and the business. We have worked with many businesses through their succession planning and execution and have been excited to witness how beneficial a well-planned business succession is for all concerned.

Philip Volk

Philip Volk

Partner - Victoria

Philip has deep experience as a business owner and a business coach. This includes succession in his own businesses and walking through the succession journey with many other business owners. His very practical experience is evident in his approach to succession and business performance. Key to Philip’s approach, is working with business owners to understand what it is they want for the business and their own succession – this is far more than a transaction! Philip’s functional and leadership experience covers all of the key bases – strategy, people, finance, IT and operations. He has consulted across service and production businesses including overseas experience as a founder and owner of a Sri Lankan BPO and consulting through Australia, NZ and South East Asia. His experience is backed by academic qualifications, Executive Coaching course and short courses at Cambridge and Stanford Universities and Hong Kong Business School. Philip looks forward to partnering with you, to optimise your business performance and succession.