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

Podcast series: Business Transition Roadmap with Elizabeth Ledoux. Episode: Navigating M&A with Expert Guidance

In this podcast “Navigating M&A with Expert Guidance”, an investment banker (Adams Price) and M&A advisor who has led and executed countless transactions in the technology, manufacturing, and supply chain industries reflects on his experiences with regard to to business succession. Special emphasis is given to the topic of preparing the financial part of the business takeover.

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Podcast series: It’s Time. Episode: Financial Foresight For Succession Planning

In this episode of “It’s Time,” a six-part series on succession planning – industry veteran and shop mentor Art Blumenthal shares his thoughts on the financial considerations shop owners need to have when deciding to turn their shop over to the next generation.

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Podjetniška usmerjenost v družinskih podjetjih

Report on entrepreneurial guidance for family businesses.

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UBS: “Three ingredients for succession success”

UBS website dedicated to the topic of financial business succession planning.

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Medium: The Complete Business Handover Checklist

This article summarises they keys steps for a successful business succession

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Podjetniški sklad RS

Financial fund.

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Forbes: 13 Financial Factors Business Owners Should Consider When Stepping Down

Free article that identifies 13 keys financial factors for a successful business succession.

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WiWi Article: “Nachfolge in Familienunternehmen Probieren Sie mal einen Kopfstand!”

Free article in German on family business handover, showcasing alternatives in case owner descendants do not want to take over the business.

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IHK Hamburg (Chamber of Commerce Hamburg): Company succession – Handing over a company.

Short guide on company succession, incl. tools such for company valuation, links to matching platforms, templates for contracts, etc.

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Investopedia: Succession Planning Basics. How It Works, Why It’s Important

Online guide on succession planning basics: How it works and why it is so important.

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Four Corners. Episode: “The succession of Rupert Murdoch”

Online documentary about Rupert Murdoch and how his business empire (Fox Corporation and News Corp) was handed over.

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Next In Wine: Survival & Succession

Business succession success story: Online documentary about a wine maker family and how the company behind (brown brothers) is passed on to the next generation (from men to women led business).

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Module 3: Psychodinamics of Family Relationships During the Succession Process

Module 5: ESG in Succession Planning