A tractor is loading newly harvested sugar cane onto a cane train in North Queensland, Australia.

Shane Webcke: A Message we all need to Remember

Former Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australian Rugby League Star, Shane Webcke, has an important message for us all: “I lost my dad in a workplace incident, so I know first-hand that family and loved ones are the most important reason for work safety.”  Having been affected by something that we should all guard against, be aware of and unfortunately be prepared for, he has since gone on to become an ambassador for Workplace Safety.

Workplace accidents take the lives of hardworking sons, daughters, mothers and fathers all-too-often.  In addition to the heartbreak that comes from such a tragedy, the havoc of losing the main income from the household adds unnecessary additional stress.

Shane Webcke now works with Workcover QLD on campaigns to help raise awareness of Workplace safety. To see more on the campaign, visit http://bit.ly/1JKVL3s.

If you are looking for professional advice, free of commission and free of conflicts, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466

Unplanned Succession: the Precarious Position

You may just be getting started or perhaps you are at the top of your game.  You are not intending to leave or hand over your business for years to come.  How could this possibly be of relevance to you?  If the success of your business is not dependant upon your contributions then, by all means, stop reading.  However, if you are responsible for adding any value to your business, please ask yourself; If I left my business today how long would it last if I couldn’t come back?  Is there someone else in the business I couldn’t survive without?  My family relies on the business income.  How long could we survive without my pay cheque?  What would it cost to replace me?  Can I be replaced?

If a business founder is not sufficiently prepared for their personal exit through a funded, planned succession strategy, then such an event is likely to leave the business in a precarious position.  Without putting a concrete strategy into place for succession, there are still many ways you can prepare yourself for the unexpected.

Overall, having the right funding arrangements in place to protect against unplanned exits of essential staff and owners is key to surviving unexpected events.  To achieve a smooth succession that results in a strong chance of the business flourishing across multiple generations, it requires some serious honesty and commitment from all parties involved to deliver a successful transition. Most importantly though, it requires forward planning and a clear set of actions to create the potential for success.

Communication is integral to the list of key attributes required in succession planning.  Both you and the successor need to be able to communicate honestly, directly and respectfully to one another to ensure everyone is clear on the plan of action.  Common goals should be shared by those involved.  It is important that the goals are synonymous with achieving financial objectives that ensure both generations are financially rewarded for their efforts.  In addition, attention should be given to ensuring that the leaving generation is sufficiently reimbursed for their life’s work and the outcomes they have achieved.

Here are Progressive Wealth Solution’s tips for preparation:

  • Start Early; the transition requires a number of objectives to be achieved.  It doesn’t matter whether the transition happens in ten months or ten years, the sooner you start preparing, the greater the chance of success.  Starting early allows time to select and groom the right successor and to skill that person to lead the organisation into the new generation and beyond.
  • Prepare an Action Plan and Timeline; Like any change project, a succession plan should be defined in terms of the objectives that need to be met for success.  Each key objective and the criteria for that objective should be discussed and agreed by the organisation and its advisors.  All elements of the succession should be discussed and defined well ahead of the actual events.   Clear objectives and deadlines assist in overall clarity throughout the process.
  • Close attention should be paid to three key elements; the successor, the financials and the strategy.  Everything from the skills and attributes of the successor to the training and development required to prepare that person should be defined.  Whoever is chosen as the  successor should be provided all the support and education required to be prepared for the role ahead.  Being clear on the financial rewards available and the timing of those rewards is an important start.  Most importantly the expectations of all involved and the KPI’s that need to be met to deliver on the financial objectives should be clearly defined.  The strategy defines how the business is going to evolve and adapt to improve its potential for success through the generations.  The preparation and planning for that needs to be agreed to ensure the organisation continues to pull in the same direction throughout and post the transition.

In addition to the above issues and concepts to manage, we recommend that you consider the following components as part of your succession strategy:

  • Board of Advice; If your business doesn’t currently have a board of advice, we suggest implementing one.  No matter what your business stage the board of advice brings external accountability to your management team and ensures you keep focused on priorities.  In terms of the business succession process, outside experience can help maintain adherence to the succession plans and assist in overcoming any challenges that arise.
  • External Mediation; Involving your accountant, financial advisor or family lawyer in the process is a valuable decision. It helps if these individuals are respected by both sides, however, often they will be seen as more attached to the founding generation. As a result it is often better to bring in a completely independent mediator to bring the generations together on common ground.

Succession planning is challenging but, professionally managed can create a legacy that aligns with the dreams and goals of the original business owner, whilst also passing on the business’ potential and wealth to be developed by the next generation.  If you are seeking any assistance or information with your succession planning, contact us at Progressive Wealth Solutions.

If you are looking for professional advice, free of commission and free of conflicts, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466

Prepare for Internal Succession to Secure your Future

One of the major challenges for any business is the transition between generations.  As the business owner comes to the end of their active career, choosing and integrating a successor is integral to the legacy of the business.  There are a number of key issues associated with succession in small business that make it difficult to hand over.  With emotion, family, money and planning all coming into play, it is no wonder so many struggle with this aspect of business ownership.

The attachment of a business owner to their life’s work makes objective decision making difficult.  Having spent years devoting time, energy and resources to a business, results in significant sentiment for the business owner.  Passing the baton does not represent the end of the race; rather it should be seen as having put in the hard work for the success of the next generation and generations to come.

Adult Son Helping Father With Laptop

Family is often at the forefront of an owner’s mind when business changes are afoot, particularly in smaller companies.  It is not uncommon to consider, how long your family could survive without your income and what other implications handing over the business might impede on them.  Naturally, these questions create an additional layer of complexity.  However, they are important questions that need to be addressed.

It goes without saying that money is at the forefront of almost all decisions made within a business.  After-all, a business is for generating income.  When planning, it is important to realise what is at stake and to minimise risk.  How much does each party have to gain and how much does each party have to lose?

To ensure that succession in your business is most successful, the nominated successor needs to be clear on and prepared for what lies ahead.  This is rarely the case and can result in turmoil without sufficient planning.  Talk to us to start planning for a secure future today.

If you are looking for professional advice, free of commission and free of conflicts, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466

Getting the best value for your Business when you sell:

Selling your business is a large undertaking and not be approached without sufficient preparation.  In order to ensure you are getting the best value, there are several things you need to act on.  Ask yourself key questions about your business; Is your business worth as much as it could be?  Have you done everything you can to set it up for an easy handover to the new owners?  Is your profitability the same or better than that of your competitors?

It is integral during this process to ensure key things such as the capabilities of your staff, the validity of the contracts you have in place, how current the technologies you use are and how reliable your financial records and management are.  You need to onsell legally and cleverly.  Your business is at its most valuable when it is at the top of it’s game.  In order to get the worth of your business, you will need to be able to prove it.

Contact us to begin reviewing your options.  Our team has a wealth of experience in this area and can provide the most valuable advice for you.
Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466

Sugar cane harvest in tropical Queensland, Australia

Succession Planning; Prepare for the unexpected

Succession Planning is a process used in business to identify people internally who are able to fill key leadership positions within your company when they become available.  Review what you do every week in your business.  Which of those tasks could you confidently delegate to  someone else in your business tomorrow?  Are they important tasks?  Could they be externally contracted at an affordable price?  If not, they may become the downfall of your business.  Will your business survive without the income you generate?  Moreover, without your business, how long can you and your family survive?

As unwelcome as they may be and as often as we may think ‘this will never happen to me,’ there is always the probability of an unplanned emergency putting us into a sticky situation.  It could be that you slip and break a bone; you could contract an illness or in the worst case scenario, even death may be on the cards.  There is nothing wrong with being optimistic but, being prepared will provide a world of relief in any of those instances.

In the event of an unplanned exit or period out of the business due to illness or injury, you and your family need the right support to ensure the assets are retained.  We believe in the results that are achieved through properly planning for unexpected situations and know that at a time of need, not having to worry about what could happen is invaluable.

If you are looking for professional advice, free of commission and free of conflicts, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466