At last week’s Transforming Business 2018 Conference held at the Novotel by RDA, presentations concluded with the important issue of succession planning. People ask me why we place such importance on succession planning for business, and I can only believe they haven’t really thought about what not planning for business succession means.
The days presentations were focussed on planning for a great business – finances, managing human resources, marketing, supply chains, sales and succession planning. Because, if you don’t plan for the value you are creating while you are developing your business, you might miss the opportunity to capitalise on it.
Tony Clark, of Cocoa Consulting and RDA board member, pointed out that 92 per cent of Australia’s business are farms and small business, and of that, only 19pc are actively engaged in succession planning.
There are some big brands out there, some great businesses, which have no real vision (well, not a shared one anyway) of what is going to happen when the owner wants to retire, sell, travel the world or – worst case – becomes ill or dies.
Many people in family businesses imagine the children will naturally take over and fail to discuss this with them or give them the opportunity to learn about the business and decide which aspects they can be passionate about.
It may not be a plan to pass the business to children, they may plan to sell, or lease, or get in a manager – but how can they do this if they haven’t invested in the plans and processes that enable the business to continue to have value without them.
Often there are opportunities for the development of a business within the business – farm tourism, farm tours, growing speciality fruit and vegies, processing and packaging for the retail market and many more possibilities.
If you think you have an idea for this, or would like to discuss the value adding micro business opportunity, or succession planning, RDA has assistance available to get you on the road.
Great communities are sustained by great and innovative businesses. Great businesses are no accident – they need effort, planning and creativity. It’s worth it.
Anne Moroney, chief executive
Regional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains