When looking to undertake any process of change and engage external parties to assist, you need to provide a lot of background information to assist the process. Being organised in determining when to start a process, making sure everyone needed is actually available, providing details like business plans, cash flows, financials, and copies of wills for instance, all take a bit of pulling together. It can be a big task for families in gathering this detail. Yet for a business, the risk is that a lot of this detail is in a head or two, and what happens if someone were to pass on.
One of the outcomes from a good succession process is that this information is being pulled together and collated into a format that can be such a useful tool for the family in making decisions for the business. Imagine having the details of every property, by title, when bought, how much paid for it, who owns it, value today all in one document. Add to this the summary of 5 years last trading and 2-3 years forward cash flows/budgets which include a plan for capital expenditure, machinery replacement and all linked to the current will and business strategy. What would all this do for a business owner?
The first thing is give peace of mind that everything is in order in the event of a death. To know where the will is and how it will be executed. Understanding at any time, the potential tax implication of a sale or transfer of property, and therefore the ability to plan for the management of such issues.
The benefit of using the historical business data to make future decisions, not just work out if you have a tax bill or refund. Using the business data, stock records, weight gain details, cropping analysis etc all support making informed decisions that in the long term lead to better business.
So getting organised is a key to starting and keeping on a plan. In our business we undertake to meet with all the family members as part of our process. Imagine your own family and getting everyone together for a function, now multiply this by approximately 25 families a year, and you get a sense of what poor Erin in our office has to undertake and get “Organised” so we can do what we need to. Travel, accommodations, car hire etc all need to be coordinated so we can deliver the best outcome from the succession process.
So when thinking about starting a succession process, consider not only what you can do to assist getting organised, but also how doing this work upfront can assist so much more in the ongoing business planning. Like any project, we need to set some time aside because it is just that important and all the family will benefit from the outcome of your efforts. Get organised and get on with it is the message today. Step 1, pick up the phone or send us an email to ask about starting a succession process.