Launch of succession planning book welcomed but lack of exit & retirement preparedness by SMEs Concerns Author

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SMEs need to improve their exit strategies.

SMEs need to improve their exit strategies.

The recently launched book Enjoy It-Business Succession & Exit Planning by author Craig West, Succession Plus Pty Ltd Founder and CEO, President of the Australian Chapter of Exit Planning Institute (EPI) has been very well received and acknowledged as an invaluable resource for SMEs seeking to maximise their exit or retirement potential.

Although extremely grateful for the very positive response the book has received as Craig West travels across Australia at book launch events in the main capital cities, the lack of exit and retirement preparedness by SMEs continues to be a major concern for the strategic business adviser and his team of consultants.

“The average age of Australian business owners is 58 (with 37% in their 60s), and are delaying retirement hoping their enterprises will regain lost value following the GFC.  To compound the dilemma of these business owners, due to their age and other factors, they are in the high risk group for heart disease, cancers and other age related conditions”, said Craig West.

According to the MGI Australian Family & Private Business Survey (June 2013), the average age of family business owners is 58 years.  Almost half of business owners surveyed see themselves working in the business beyond 65 years of age, with over 33% saying they will be relying solely on the sale of their business to fund their retirement.

Currently, 34% do not have any adequately funded retirement plan (up from 17% in 2006).

It is estimated that over the next decade the retirement of family business owners will see the transfer of approximately $1.6 trillion in wealth, which surely must make succession planning one of the most significant issues facing SME owners.

Yet incredibly, despite 75% of business owners surveyed admitting their businesses are not sale or succession ready; 52% do not intend doing anything about it over the next 12 months.

With estimates of 50,000 businesses for sale each year for the foreseeable future, the small business market may become flooded, which will put further pressure on business values.

Many SMEs will have no option but to simply close the door and walk away from their businesses.

In the current market the best chance of success is to be prepared and plan ahead.  If SMEs ’Begin with the end in mind’, they are much better prepared for making the right decisions along the way, following the steps towards their long term vision.

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