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Succession Planning- Where do I start?

Mar 11, 2019

Over the past four years, I have had the opportunity to be involved with many succession plans, taken part in speaking tours, and been directly involved one on one with our clients. From this experience, I have documented trends and pain points experienced by thousands of business owners who are going through the succession planning process.

Business owners question:

Where do I start?

There are three types of succession plans; family transition, employee share ownership programs, and third party sales.

The first step is to find out what type of succession plan is available to you and this can be done though good communication with your family or staff.

In all of my presentation I ask the same question “Who is going to sell to a family member?”

Put your hands up.

“Who is going to sell to your employees?”

Put your hands up.

“Who is going to find a third party buyer?”

Put your hands up.

The majority of business owners believe that they are going to have a family or an employee transition. I ask the first two groups to put their hand back in the air and ask the question- “Who has had that conversation with their family member or employees?”

Unfortunately, all of the hands in the room go down.

If you are a Saskatchewan farmer and your son has been an engineer in Calgary for the past 20 years, it is probably unlikely that he will move his family back to take over the farm.

The first step in any succession plan is communication; you need to understand what your options are for transition. Your family members or employees that you have identified as having the capabilities to run the company may not have the desire to have your job, or may not be in a position financially to buy you out.

This conversation can be sensitive in nature but when done effectively can give you a better understanding of your options for the business transition. works with a number of HR Professionals that can assist you in setting up this conversation step by step. Please visit our Additional Services Tab for more information.

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