Experts say ‘Sooner the Better’ for Succession Planning
25 August, 2015
‘Start now’ was the key take home message delivered to the 100 local business owners who attended Suncorp Bank’s succession planning workshops last week in Biloela, Roma and Miles.
The three-day initiative, co-hosted with ProAGtive, was designed to help agribusiness owners start the often difficult conversation around succession planning, which according to a recent Suncorp Bank report was one of the biggest factors preventing Australian producers from developing a plan for their future.
ProAGtive Succession Planner, Isobel Knight, said by planning as early as possible, families could create a future they wanted rather than having it dealt to them.
“I often see people delay succession planning until it is too late, because they fear causing conflict amongst loved ones or don’t know where to start,” Ms Knight said.
“I recommend families start small with the actions they can implement straight away. For example, a weekly family meeting is a good opportunity to discuss your goals and aspirations with your family members. An updated Will is also very important.
“Then, ask yourself some hard questions to see if the perceptions you have of your business match reality. Do you know what your business break-even point is, do you have a budget, and do you have a long-term financial strategy?”
Suncorp Bank Regional Manager, David Littleproud, said preparing for the transition of management responsibilities between generations was an integral part of good business planning.
“Transparency and communication is key to the successful transfer of management in a family business. Every family member should understand the crucial role they play in this process,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We had more than 100 attendees across the three events and feedback has been extremely positive. The workshops provided a new perspective on succession planning, and encouraged greater confidence for business owners to build a long-term business plan.”
About Suncorp: Suncorp Group includes leading general insurance, banking, life insurance and superannuation brands in Australia and New Zealand. The Group has 14,500 employees and relationships with nine million customers. Suncorp Group Limited is a Top 20 ASX-listed company with $94 billion in assets. Suncorp Bank is Australia’s leading regional bank servicing more than one million personal, SME and agribusiness customers.