Result 2 is one of the main outputs of the Succession Ready project. The primary objective of Result 2 is to disseminate knowledge aimed at assisting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in effectively transferring ownership across various levels. This can be a transfer to a family member, or alternatively when there are no successors within the family, selling the business or an internal employee or external person.

The Training Manual is the main document in Result 2 – a handbook containing 5 important modules with interesting thematic topics. The basic module explains the importance of succession planning. The second and third modules address challenges and possible solutions in the transfer process, and the very important but repeatedly overlooked psychodynamic aspect that takes place within individuals, families, or employees during the ownership transfer process. The fourth module provides information on the basic financial procedures and strategies that the business owner will need to put in place before the actual transfer. Finally, the fifth module addresses the important topic of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) within succession. The manual is complemented by the Toolbox Manual, which will assist the user to carry out the transfer in practice. Practical examples will help the user to understand the succession process more easily. At the end, interesting and useful additional information is also brought together. Short presentations serve as an addition to the training manual, where the information is condensed and visually supported.

The aim of the introductory module is to illustrate the mindset of the business; to understand the challenges, importance and specificities of advising the business; and to develop a deeper understanding of the reasons why succession is one of the most difficult and critical challenges in family businesses and beyond. Further on, the goal of the second module is to enable end-users to have a successful initial consultation with the business owner (perhaps the first generation) and the remaining family members prior to starting transition planning, and to identify possible solutions in the transition process. The module highlights the importance of supporting new managers (new generation) in taking over the business and effectively managing change to ensure successful business processes. Users will be trained to facilitate a well phased transition management and controlled business transition in phases according to a succession plan.

Very important, but often largely overlooked due to the financial and tax optimisation of the company when transferring ownership, is the third module which focuses on the psychodynamic aspect. It provides the user with a guided exercise for emotional support through the ownership transfer process through practical examples. At the same time, it addresses emotional issues and possible psychological effects on family dynamics as well as on the overall dynamics of the company.

Author: Katarina Vita Dolinar, Senior Consultant at CCIS
Photograph: Deposit photos