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Lack of succession planning is a small business ‘time bomb’

The failure of the Baby Boomer generation business owners to make adequate provision for their retirement is like a time bomb ticking in the business community, according to a leading business expert.

“Over-50-year-olds account for 35% of all business owners with almost 60% planning to retire in the next 10 years. This means an estimated 290,000 businesses will hit the market in the next 5 or more years, with too few cashed-up Gen-Xers ready to take them on” says Andrew Baird, Principal with WHK, Australia’s 5th largest accounting firm.

“Since 76% of these small businesses expect the sale of their business or the continuing cash generated by their business to fund their retirement, there is a crisis brewing” he said.

Baird, whose firm specialises in providing business services to small and medium sized enterprises, says the answer lies in Succession Planning – now!

“Succession is a real issue for business owners of all ages. The key to success in business is to plan early and succession is no different. Some of our younger clients are planning for the longer term, while our baby boomer clients have a more immediate need to formalise their succession plans” said Baird.

Mr Baird continues, “Succession planning can prove to be a real challenge for small business. Whether you are planning to pass on the family business to successors, prepare it for sale or develop the business further, WHK can assist with these challenges.”

WHK in association with TOTAL Organisational Performance Pty Ltd (TOP) is now able to offer a fast-paced government-supported Succession Plan process to businesses across Victoria and in Adelaide. Funding is provided under the Australian Government’s Building Entrepreneurship in Small Business Program (BESB). At this stage, only 85 funded places remain.

“The one day succession planning process is a cost effective way for small business owners to develop a succession plan which they can begin to implement straight away” says Andrew Baird, Principal at WHK’s Lilydale office.

Participants are assisted to undertake an in depth analysis of their business. Then, in an intensive one day workshop participants, through the assistance of succession planning experts, are able to produce a rigorous plan which is based on reliable data. All participants walk away with a succession plan ready for immediate action.

The remaining 85 funded places for the program will be allocated before Christmas this year. “WHK and TOP will deliver the programs in the areas where there is the most demand” said Baird.

“Over 140 businesses have already participated in the program here and in other states. The results have been really positive. In the 2006/07 programme 26% of businesses either successfully sold or passed their business on to a successor” said Baird.

For further information contact: Andrew Baird WHK 112 Main St Lilydale, VIC 3140 Ph 03 9735 5133 Fx 03 9739 5144 ">

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