Succession strategy essential for success

ONE of Queensland’s top financial planners says Australian SMEs are potentially risking their retirement assets by failing to establish a proper business succession plan.

Wealthfarm Financial Planners founding director Nicholas Sinclair says as an essential strategy to maximise businesses value, it’s never too early to think about a business succession plan.

“For business owners, their business or interest in a business is likely to be their biggest asset or retirement nest egg,” says Sinclair.

“The owners who are continuing in the business or taking over the running of the business need a smooth transition in ownership to essentially maximise business growth and value and to ensure the survival of the business.”

Yet for the Southport-based agency, who also have offices in Brisbane and Mackay, the lack of business succession planning in Australia is surprising.

“The Cameron Research Group periodically conducts research of Australian SMEs and their research released in 2008 showed that while almost 70 per cent of SME owners plan to exit their business in the next decade, only 10 per cent have a documented business succession plan,” says Sinclair.

Wealthfarm lists some advantages of developing a business succession plan as ensuring continual growth in a bad market or through illness by using appropriate insurances, and developing an attractive foundation allowing a smooth and profitable business exit.

“Our role as financial advisers is to identify your needs and assist you through the process to ensure your business and your future is protected,” says Sinclair.

“It is important to be aware of the value of succession planning and particularly planning for involuntary succession events such death, disablement or trauma of an owner.”

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