Succession planning for small family businesses can never start early enough says Heather Wildman. With over 26 years' experience of working with both farmers and industry, Heather, who runs Saviour Associates, has faced many instances of families struggling to agree how their business enterprise should move forward
Succession will inevitably happen whether we want it to or not. There is a finality for business owners who want to retire and handover their legacy to the next generation.
Heather's key points, in addition to starting discussion amongst the family as soon as possible, are to make a record of all conversations for future reference and be totally transparent, putting everything 'on the table'
Heather suggests a starting point is to consider the possible impact of the 6 Ds: Death, Disability, Disaster, Divorce, Disagreements and Debt on the family