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New succession planning guide for family businesses released

A new guide to family business succession planning has been released by the small business ombudsman and Family Business Australia, as research finds just 17 per cent of Australian family businesses have a future plan for their business.

New succession planning guide for family businesses released
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  • Adrian Flores
  • March 11, 2021
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The Introductory Guide to Family Business Succession Planning provides a step-by-step guide to passing the family business on to the next generation.

A recent report found that 54 per cent of family businesses have no documented succession plan in place and no retirement plan for the current CEO.

Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell called the trend “particularly worrying”, pointing to the ASBFEO office’s Small Business Counts report that found more than 60 per cent of employing small business owners are approaching retirement age.

As a result, Ms Carnell said there has never been a more important time to initiate a succession plan, given the highest proportion of business owners are aged between 45 and 59 years.

“This generational shift presents a number of challenges for the sector and the economy more broadly, as some business owners may find it difficult to attract a buyer.

“It really highlights the need for meticulous succession planning for those family business owners who are planning to retire in the coming years.”

Family Business Australia chief executive Greg Griffith said succession planning can be challenging, but with the right approach, supported by quality information and advice, rewarding outcomes can be achieved.

Mr Griffith said the guide also offers tips on how to handle tense conversations that can arise between family members throughout the transition phase.

“The key to families working well together is to have really open and honest communication — which can be difficult when your boss, colleague or direct report is also a member of your family,” Mr Griffith said.

“Our succession planning guide offers practical tips to ensure an orderly transition process.”    

Businesses can access the 'Introductory Guide to Family Business Succession Planning' on both the Family Business Australia’s and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s websites.

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