FAMILY businesses in Kirklees have been urged to safeguard their future with “positive and meaningful” succession planning.
The call comes from Stephen Baxter, senior partner at Huddersfield law firm Baxter Caulfield, who said: “In this economic environment, succession planning is more important than ever. Business owners must take the best available course of action to safeguard their business, their bottom line, cash flow, assets and workforce.
“It is a case of making the right choices for the future of the business and all involved, based upon solid, logical reasoning and professional advice – often being dispassionate and putting sentiment aside.”
Mr Newman said the first part of the process was to identify the desired outcome. Then, a business owner should look at a plan for anything up to five years, broken down into stages, each with its own timescale.
“You need to establish if the people you would like to take the business forward have the right skill sets and abilities, then find out if the potential successors are willing to assume the role you have identified for them,” said Mr Newman.
“Once you know the direction you want to move in, enlist expert advisers to make sure that your plans are watertight legally, are tax efficient and minimise the potential for challenge by or conflict among the existing management and the shareholders.
“Succession planning is not something to go into lightly, nor is it something that can be ignored.”