SUCCESSION PLANNING

MORE THAN JUST FINANCIAL REPORTS

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about succession planning, both as an adviser to my clients and as a business owner. New Zealand’s economy is underpinned by small and medium-sized businesses:

  • 97%, over 473,000, of Kiwi businesses have fewer than 20 employees and 69% of Kiwi businesses, over 338,000, have zero employees.
  • 43% of self-employed people are over the age of 40, which includes over 40,000 people aged 60 to 65 and over 23,000 people aged over 65 – the biggest wave of Baby Boomers.

This means there are tens of thousands of New Zealand business owners who will need to think about succession planning, but there’s surprisingly little out there to help them. Selling a business can take months, or years, and the right type of buyer can be hard to find. Once you have found a buyer, the transition period can be bumpy.

I think there’s a real gap in the market when it comes to succession planning in New Zealand. I’ve had a substantial amount of experience over the past 30 years in getting businesses ‘sale ready’, finding buyers for businesses, and transferring ownership (including, I should add, to family members, which is an extremely tricky process and requires expert handling). If you know someone struggling with the challenge of stepping back from a business – let’s get this conversation started.

Geoff Hamilton, CA