Company succession is a process and is frequently started much too late. “Oops – it’s already Christmas again“… this is how it sometimes feels when it turns out that the 73-year-old company owner is suddenly no longer able to take full responsibility for managing the business. Clever and sustainably successful availability of successors is only seldom the consequence under pressure of time.
According to a study by KfW, a German government-owned development bank, 236,000 medium-sized entreprises and a large number of family companies are planning to pass the company onto a successor by the end of next year. For 100,000 of them, however, it is not yet clear who this successor could be. The subject of company succession is a hot potato, as the company is frequently of great emotional value to the owner. Many therefore put off the solution to their succession problem. Others know that at some point they want to hand over to a family member but cannot let go. The situation is often also charged with subjects and emotions within the family.
We advise you to tackle the subject sooner rather than later, if necessary with external support. Because, after all, it concerns the future of your company and your personal financial security in retirement as to how you decide in the interests of the company.
As a family company, we know what we are talking about and where we provide advice. Sensitively moderating the process, developing clear scenarios, clearly formulating and balancing interests, finding the suitable candidates and selecting them based on a solid analysis of potential, this is our offer to you.
Are you ready to find solutions before the snow falls?
To secure company succession, experts set a period of two to five years. Selecting a suitable successor in terms of economic prospects is simply practical and not only a fact-based matter.
Experienced managers from one’s own ranks or family members often have wishes and expectations, which are to be respected. These are to be weighed up with strategic questions which may also concern market positioning.
On the other hand, it is important to do more than just to extend the past into the future.
How do we decide who is to lead the company into the future? What way of dealing with the company as a whole safeguards and develops the existing values?
Take advantage of our offer to guide you through this process – sensitively, based on facts and in a balanced way. From the decision as to how your own company is to be positioned on the market in future via the decision as to who will determine destinies in future, we are your partner throughout this process.
For example, let us help you in the search for the right successor, whether in the family, within the company (management buy-out) or externally (sale to a strategic investor). Let us inform you what is to be observed in the case of an internal family succession. Because the situation frequently escalates when functions, roles and attributions have to be clarified and changed in the family. Perhaps consider alternatives to family succession. If you already have someone in mind, we shall be pleased to carry out a confidential check of potential to safeguard your decision. In personal coaching sessions, we also support company owners in letting go and passing on responsibility, training your successors and then also exercising sole responsibility for the benefit of the company.
Company succession is a process which should be actively controlled. What skills, abilities and potentials must candidates contribute? What do we already have on board, where and what for is external reinforcement required? What wishes, demands and expectations are to be observed?
Frequently it proves to be advantageous if the former owner remains on board for another six to twelve months in order to make the change “softer” for employees and business partners, because change always first creates uncertainty. If the successor finds entrenched structures in the company, this can greatly facilitate training.
It is completely understandable if the entrepreneur handing over the reins wants to ensure that the strengths of the company are retained. However, at the same time he or she should also be prepared to allow new things. If the corporate culture is strongly characterised by the founder or previous owner, the question arises as to how this is to be dealt with in future. If everything remains the same, the new person will always be measured by the standards which are passed on and the cards may be stacked against him or her. If the successors forcibly leave their mark on the company, they may lose the employees. Here it is important to very carefully weigh up what is to be passed on in the successor situation and how a strong bond can be established between the employees and the new owner.
With these subjects, professional expertise, the right methods and tools, but above all appropriate personal and professional access to those involved are crucial for success. We have a lot of experience in moderating this phase, also together with the management team and employees.
Allow us to support you – respectfully, clearly and based on facts.