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Thinking About Business Succession

The sands of time trickle through life’s hourglass, and they stop for no one. Not everybody wants to continue running a business forever, no matter how much fun they are having – and you can never predict what the future holds. Whatever the case may be, it remains an incontrovertible fact that you might want your business to continue whether you’re leading it or not. Avoid the chaos and the hassle by getting a solid business succession plan in place early.

As a young entrepreneur, you’re probably filled to the brim with confidence, caught up in the day-to-day running of your business with little thought to the inevitable end. As an older, experienced business owner, you may have planned for succession some time ago – are they still relevant? Perhaps you have held back from even starting on these plans, immobilised by a reluctance to face the possibility that your business may not be yours forever. 

All these states are completely natural reactions to both running a business and the passing of time. Yet they do not negate the fact that a business without a succession plan is like a tire with a slow leak – by the time it’s totally flat, the whole thing’s stuffed. Once that’s happened, no amount of strategy or business advisors can fix it.

Business Succession

Business Succession Systems

Do you want to see your company continue to thrive, even once you leave? We are sure your answer is yes.

The fact is, there may come a time when someone else would be better off taking over your business. We understand that the business landscape is rapidly changing and evolving. You never know what kinds of opportunities might come up for you.

Sound a bit overwhelming? That is where our management consulting services come in handy

Why plan at all?

Your business is a representation of years worth of your hard work and ambition. No matter what happens, that deserves protecting. The best way to maintain your legacy is to get an effective business plan in place. We all know that life is unpredictable. The unexpected – accidents, illness, and personal problems – could come at any time.

Let us provide you with a list of what will happen if you unexpectedly leave your business without a succession plan in place.

Your clients will be dissatisfied with the lack of foresight, potentially leaving your business so they can get their needs met elsewhere.
You might have to sell your company for a fraction of what it is worth.

Putting off making a succession plan endangers your shareholders, employees, clientele, and their families. That may seem alarmist to some, but the fact is, lots of people rely on your business. Being a business owner is a lot of responsibility – and that can be both wonderful and intense. Talk to our business coaches if you want to learn more about being the best leader for your business that you can be.

Whether selling your business to fund your retirement, to give yourself a change of pace or to pass the torch to someone who can bring something fresh to your endeavour, you need a plan to make this happen. The transferral of a business is rarely a seamless process, and yet proper planning will make it so. This is not a miracle. Like anything good in this life, it is a result of smart planning and good old fashioned hard work.

One of the most significant advantages of having a succession plan is that you will help your key stakeholders understand how your organisation’s assets are controlled. It gives your business room to grow, helping uncover and address weaknesses. The efficiency of your operations will also improve because you will have a clearer idea of where you want your business to go in the future.

Things to consider

Outlined below are some of the things any business owner should be considering when planning for the transfer of their business. This list is not extensive, but it is there to get you thinking. 

When you come to us for coaching, you will have a clearer idea of what you want. While we can help you at any stage, you may find that having productive thoughts churning away will help you get your succession plan in place sooner. Then, you can stop worrying about it and move on to what’s important in the present – running your business.

  1. Timeframe – when do you want your plan to be complete, and when do you want it implemented?
  2. Keeping on top of your accounting – if your books are in order, it is far easier for prospective clients to know exactly the financial status of your business, and this will, of course, lead to a higher asking price if you want to sell your business.
  3. Know inside and out the extent to which your assets and liabilities balance or outweigh each other – this will provide invaluable data with which to value your business.
  4. Who exactly is your business being succeeded to? If it is family, you must get them on board and up to speed as soon as you can. The earlier the better, so that they can get to grips with your business, thereby protecting it.
  5. Communication – who else needs to know about this plan? Letting those involved know all the relevant details will greatly increase the ease of transition – no one likes an unexpected surprise, least of all in the arenas of business & work life. To keep your business in an optimum state of efficiency with maximized employee and client satisfaction, detail your plan to all who need to know, including those on the periphery of the process. That way, everyone is working towards a common goal with the security of knowing that you are ready for anything.

Who exactly is your business being succeeded to? If it is family, you must get them on board and up to speed asap. The earlier the better,so that they can get to grips with your business and avoid the pitfalls of nepotism that inexperienced promotion often causes

Communication – who else needs to know about this plan? For reasons I’m sure you are aware of, letting those involved know all the relevantdetails will greatly increase the ease of transition – no one likes an unexpected surprise, least of all in the arenas of business & work life. Tokeep your business in an optimum state of efficiency with maximized employee and client satisfaction, detail your plan to all who need know,and even those on the periphery of the process, so that everyone is working towards a common goal and not a mess of hidden agendas orconfused, irrelevant directives

What our clients say

We have been working with Phil since 2012. During this time we have grown from a staff of 10 to well over 30 and quadrupled our turnover. Working with Phil has enabled us to develop strategies and implement plans that we didn’t even know we needed before meeting him. At the beginning of our journey together we were not working on our business at all and, to be honest, we were floundering. Now our leadership is strong, our strategy is clear and we have exceeded most of the goals we have set for ourselves.

Clare McCall

J C McCall Plumbing Contractors Ltd

Phil Pickford has provided considerable support to our business since we began working together in 2008. Over the years he has counseled, advised, mentored and coached me (and my team) on a vast array of subjects! The focus of our meetings has always been on business strategy but he has provided enormous support in other areas as well (management, HR, new business, and organisational structure to name a few). Phil is always very prepared, the meetings are well structured, and his follow up is timely and concise.

Natasha Bourke

Managing Director Skin Health Experts (S.H.E)

We have been using Think Differently for over 2 years and have seen remarkable gains in our business, over 50% growth each year. We have consistently broken sales records and have become a leading force in our field. Phil is an outstanding mentor with an invaluable wealth of knowledge and I couldn’t recommend him enough.

Warwick Shearer

Director, The Maintenance Guys Ltd.

Our company executive have worked with Phil Pickford at Think Differently for over 10 years. Over time Phil has gained an intricate knowledge of the workings of our company and understands our thinking and our personnel. He then uses this knowledge, together with his own experience and wisdom to challenge the executive to set our own goals and business plans. He offers sound advice, and we have used him for guidance and direction when focusing on particular issues that we may be facing.

Tony Fairfield

Managing Director/Chairman,Youngman Richardson & Co. Ltd.

Phil created the defining moment for me when I was attempting to change the course of our company through a more strategic approach. His knowledge and experience in helping create the right strategy for the right time changed my perception of how we needed to move forward. Phil wasn’t about providing the strategic direction; he was about creating the right environment to enable my leadership team to evolve a strategy as a result of creative thinking, challenging the norm and asking the right questions.

Mike Wardlaw

Managing Director, Babcock (NZ) Ltd
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The time to start thinking about where you want your business to go is now. While the process will take a while, the results are worth it. That is why, at Think Differently, we are always ready to assist you in constructing your business succession plan so that the transfer of your business is seamless and productive.