Module 1: What is the meaning of succession?


Module 1 guides Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) through the process of succession planning. Succession planning ensures the continuity, growth, and legacy of the business by preparing for the transfer of leadership. This module highlights the importance of strategic planning and the application of models that adapt to the unique contexts of SMEs. The module covers various aspects including the definition and concepts around family businesses, the challenges faced by family-owned SMEs, and practical tools like gap analysis to identify and address gaps between the current state and desired future state of the business.

Module 1 emphasizes the importance of embedding succession planning into the corporate culture and HR strategy, outlining key steps such as integrating succession planning into performance evaluations and fostering a culture of transparency and open communication. The document also includes self-reflection questions for business owners to consider their future goals, capital needs, and the potential future of the business post-retirement. 

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Additional Resources

Awareness of “Ownership Succession” and Family Business Continuity

Article from the International Journal od Business and Management Invention, focusing on the awareness of succession and the impacts associated to it.

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Insights from Gary Sheader – The Strategic Advantages of Succession Planning for Leaders in SME Manufacturing

Gary Sheader, Founder and Managing Director of the Manufacturers Alliance, UK, outlines benefits of succession planning among manufacturing SMEs. Sheader advocates for collaborative succession planning to ensure business continuity and talent retention in manufacturing enterprises.

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Checklist Succession

Diese Checkliste soll dabei helfen, die wesentlichen Punkte der Unternehmensnachfolge zu beachten. / This checklist is intended to help you consider the key points of company succession.

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Trusted advisors in a family business’s succession-planning process—An agency perspective

This resource covers the role of trusted advisors in the succession-planning process of family businesses through the lens of agency theory, addressing how these advisors can mitigate conflicts and facilitate smooth transitions between generations.

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Progress of Germany’s SME succession in 2019

According to the KfW SME Panel in 2019, SMEs were increasingly prioritizing succession planning, with owner-managers showing greater preparedness and a higher rate of implementing solutions compared to the previous year. External succession had also been gaining prominence as a preferred option.

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Unternehmensnachfolge: Die optimale Planung

Dieses umfassende Kompendium des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie gibt einen umfasssenden Überblick über zentrale Aspekte der Planung eines Nachfolgeprozesses / This comprehensive compendium from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides a comprehensive overview of key aspects of planning a succession process

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Nexxt Change ist Deutschlands größte Plattform um Inhaberinnen und Inhaber von Unternehmen und Existenzgründende zusammenzubringen. / Nexxt Change is Germany’s largest platform bringing together company owners and entrepreneurs.

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Anticipating the Future- Family Business Succession Planning for You, Your Business, and the Next Generation

This guide outlines optimal practices for smoothly transferring family businesses between generations, aimed at European accountants facilitating structured succession reviews for their clients.

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IHK24 – Unternehmensnachfolge

IHK24 ist ein Verbund aus 62 Industrie- und Handelskammern in Deutschland. Dieses kurze Video gibt einen allgemeinen Überblick über den Nachfolgeprozess. / IHK24 is a network of 62 chambers of industry and commerce in Germany. This short video gives a general overview of the succession process.

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Module 2: Transferring Challenges and Solutions