Succession planning

There are a lot of tricky questions around succession, especially when the business is really dear to you.

Maybe you’re unsure who’s going to take the reins? Or do you have someone lined up already but not sure how much to sell for? Do you give them a discount? Do you wonder if you need to keep working in the business, but aren’t sure how that would affect price?

The crux of the decision is making sure it gets into the right hands
and gets looked after properly.

How much time do you need?

Who will be your successors?

The choices are family, senior managers or other trusted people within the business. Maybe a trade sale, putting it on Trademe or listing with a broker. Maybe getting picked up in an M&A deal?

Or maybe you plan to keep it but just put someone in it to run it for you. If your business is big enough and you plan to keep your business with proper governance and management, succession will take care of itself.

Whichever option you choose, it’s a good idea to start planning early. It can take a while.

How to approach succession

Think about what you really want. Do you want to keep your whole business? Part of it? None of it?

Think about how well the business needs to perform for someone else to want to own it. Is there a gap? How do you get there?

If you plan to keep it in the family, start having the conversation with potential successors. Depending on how your kids think, it can take a while to get used to the idea.

It’s good to have an initial discussion of whether there is any interest, and to talk about options on how to get them involved business earlier to see how they do.

Share your story of why, how, and where the business is today, and what is needed for future challenges. This gives them time to grow personally, professionally and within the business – whichever combination of these are important.

If family isn’t going to work, think about whether any of your staff would be able to step up and own, or part own, the business. Have these conversations early.

You could also think about setting up a limited (or even a company-wide) employee share ownership plan to get the idea out there.

Think about whether your current leadership and governance is enough for the employees to carry the business on without you.

Why is planning for succession important?

This is part of your story and your life. Why not give it a legacy, and let it be part of others’ story too? Your story could live on much longer than you do.

The beauty of having a business rather than a job is that the rewards and return don’t need to stop when you want to stop. You can enjoy the fruits of your labour well into retirement with passive ownership if you plan for this well.

Sometimes, the people that will be part of the ongoing story will need upskilling in many areas.  It is best to start this properly while you still have the will and energy to be involved. They will be ready to step up when you are ready to step down.

If you want to talk about what you need, please fill out the enquiry form below,
or contact the team directly.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Joshna Mistry

Partner and Value Added
Services Lead.
Read Joshna’s profile.

Humphrey Hart

Senior Analyst and
Entrepreneur.
Read Humphrey’s profile.

As a client Gilligan Sheppard you will have access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business / trust / transaction. xero logo It’s small business accounting software that’s simple, smart and occasionally magical. Log in online anytime, anywhere on your Mac, PC, tablet or phone to get a real-time view of your cash flow. 
As a client Gilligan Sheppard you will have access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business / trust / transaction. tax traders logo Tax Traders allows you to buy someone else’s tax to settle your account with Inland Revenue, as well as save on interest and late payment penalty charges.
As a client Gilligan Sheppard you will have access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business / trust / transaction. smart ar logo Astute cash flow management is essential for operating a small business.
As a client Gilligan Sheppard you will have access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business / trust / transaction. myob logo Trusted by 1.2 million businesses, myob is New Zealand’s largest accounting solutions provider. The platform is equipped to support the needs of New Zealand organisations.
As a client at Gilligan Sheppard you will access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business/trust/transaction.  accountancy insurance logo Tax Audit Insurance specifically designed for accountants in public practice. This provides cost effective protection and peace of mind against the substantial cost that may be incurred should IR or other government authorities conduct a random review, investigation or audit.
As a client Gilligan Sheppard you will have access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business / trust / transaction. cpa logo A CPA is a finance, accounting and business professional with a specific qualification. It indicates a soundness in depth, breadth and quality of accountancy knowledge and gives you competitive advantage over your peers.
As a client Gilligan Sheppard you will have access to international networks and resources to enable optimal outcomes for your business / trust / transaction. agn international logo AGN International is a worldwide asociation, composed of four regions, of independent accounting and advisory businesses.
2022 Marketing To-do List
It’s on everyone’s lips, “Let’s hope that 2022 is better”. Lockdowns and levels (and now lights) brought obvious change to business, and the New Year often brings a fresh perspective on [...]
Perspective is power
One person will see the Willow tree as protection from the sun, another, will see the shade it provides as cold and unwelcoming. Another will see the Willow tree as an obstacle in their way, yet one [...]
Some life changing finds
Every year I stumble across a whole lot of cool new things – books, apps, music, websites. They make life a little easier and/or a little more interesting. Sometimes I find things that are [...]
The journey from caring to intolerance
You might ask, “Wtf, what has triggered Bruce to rant about this topic?” It’s simple really, a minor event that no one should have even had a second thought about, as the action and reactions [...]
One-sentence-story
A tale of change and adaption. In March 2020 the world changed. Many thought it would revert quickly to life as it was before and that our behaviours would also revert to what we were used to and [...]
Interest deduction limitation rules: update
In our June newsletter I wrote an article that ‘attempted’ to explain the Government’s proposed new interest deduction limitation rules, which were to have an effective commencement date of [...]
Working from home reimbursements
Covid has changed the landscape of our world. Our everyday living situations, from how we interact with other people, to how we run our businesses has changed in an all-encompassing way. I could [...]
Travel is my sanity
After five weeks of level-four lockdown, followed by seven weeks of level-three, I was asked to write an article for our newsletter. To be honest, I couldn’t summon enough positive energy to write [...]
Richard’s September-October 2021 tax updates
Richard has had over 30 years’ experience with New Zealand and International taxation. His team provide services including: Q&A service for accountants Tax opinions IRD risk reviews and audits [...]
Grow your business in lockdown. Part four of four.
Webcam selling confidence Our marketing team have collaborated with Ambrose from the Sales Mastery Company to create webinars to help small to medium businesses survive lockdown. View the fourth [...]

Click here for details.

We are recognised as authorities in our specialised fields. We publish newsletters with informed opinions that are free for you to subscribe to.

Click here for details.

We are recognised as authorities in our specialised fields. We publish newsletters with informed opinions that are free for you to subscribe to.