Family is a fundamental piece in our horticultural puzzle. In a recent nationwide study, family rated below the importance of our supply chains and marketing. Family rated above most indicators including profitability and business growth. If we break this effect down even further to small, medium and large businesses across all of food, family ranked only third behind information and planning. Family both inside and outside the business are crucial to our success.
We hear about business succession all the time yet many of us do not take the time to sit down and work out what this means for us. We never take the time from the day to day pressure to think about, plan and act on our intergenerational growth. The planned injection of youth into our businesses improves productivity, profitability and in many cases introduces energy and passion into our business.
Nobody likes to think about it, but it's inevitable that one day you'll leave your business. Whether you decide to sell up, retire, leave due to health reasons or you just want to explore, it's important that you plan for that day. A succession plan outlines who will take over your business when or if you leave. Significant difficulties arise when the business is not strategically, tactically, operationally, financially and personally ready for this change. These difficulties range from partial or total loss of assets or more importantly the fragmentation of families.
A good succession plan will help your business transition smoothly to the new owner while retaining the lessons of the past. By planning your future early, you can maximise the value of your business and help it to meet future needs. By building new skills into your business you can enable this process. Talking about succession well ahead of retirement is probably the best thing you can do to avoid family conflicts and to make sure your family wealth ultimately ends up where you want it to.
According to recent research, less than 50% of fresh food enterprises have started to discuss succession, let alone prepared an effective plan. We all know succession is a complex and emotive issue. Succession is often considered easier to ignore than to address. It is becoming a critical issue for fresh food enterprises with the record numbers of baby boomers retiring, the growth in business asset values and the rise in the number of relationships breakdowns. The easiest option is to prepare. Not preparing has significant consequences and can be devastating for business and heart breaking for families.
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