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Is Your Business Your Pension?


Is Your Business Your Pension?

By , May 1, 2019

The baby boomer generation started to reach their 65th birthdays in 2011, and nearly 11,000 Brits per week turned 65 in 2018. A further 2.5 million are expected to hit retirement age before 2026. The baby boomers are what is driving the number of business owners who are approaching retirement. The average age of small business owners in the UK is 49 and 43% of all new businesses are currently started by over 50’s. Many are looking at the exit of their business to fund their eventual retirement, that is to sell the business or pass it on to the next generation.

Over 50%, unfortunately, will exit due to death, illness, divorce, dispute, financial distress, bankruptcy or other unforeseen events.

A significant number of business owners expect the sale of their business to fund their retirement, with over 35% of all Brits having no pension provision at all, relying on their assets to fund post-work life. We know that since 2008, when the global financial crisis (GFC) occurred, many business owners actively delayed their retirement or exit plans. 22% of all over 55’s have extended their expected retirement date and more than 40% were unhappy with their current financial position.

Of all family-owned businesses in the UK, more than half the business owners intended for the next generation to take over yet nearly 70% indicated that they were not ready to do so even though retirement age was looming or, indeed, passed.

80% of all businesses that are put up for sale never get sold and there are 4 main reasons commonly attributed to this:

  1. Lack of preparation
  2. Poor financial reports
  3. Owner reliance
  4. Unrealistic price expectations

With so many business owners in weak financial positions looking to sell, and a lack of cashed-up buyers in the market, it’s more important than ever to plan your business exit to extract the highest possible value. You can’t just start to think about it when you turn 64 — if you don’t plan, you get a poor price. But a good succession plan is a win-win for everyone — you get the best price, the buyer gets a good business and your customers and staff are looked after.

At Succession Plus we take a holistic view to succession planning, looking at your business and personal goals and putting processes and systems in place to help you reach the best outcome, offering expert advice in management, taxation, employee incentives and accounting issues.

We’ve identified a number of steps that you can take to dramatically improve the performance and preparedness of your business, and hence the value on exit. We take you through those steps over a number of years as you go through the gradual stages of transition.

If you have been working hard in your business for many years to create wealth for you and your family, you may need help to realise the full potential of all your efforts and investment. These are the rewards you set out to achieve.

We don’t try to give you a one size fits all or a ‘do it yourself’ manual, but you’ll get an understanding of the scope and processes involved in successful succession and exit planning. If you are close to retirement or need to exit quickly, you may not be able to go through all the steps. But we’ll steer you towards some crucial quick fixes to help you get prepared.

Christine Nicholson

Christine Nicholson

Christine is a Chartered Management Accountant with a Law degree who brings 25 years of wisdom, know-how, and experience of working with SME’s. Her long and varied career has included working overseas, rescuing technology companies, building a healthcare business from scratch and running a zoo.

She started her first successful multi-million turnover business in 2002 and has grown business ventures for others including a bankruptcy to 8-figure exit in 18 months. Christine’s engagement consistently gets her clients increasing their turnover with improved profitability and fewer working hours.

She has saved clients thousands and increased the value of their businesses by millions. Since 2008 she has generated over £100m of crystallised value in business exits.

Christine is also an author of 3 books on Finance, Business Management and Technology businesses. She is a seasoned speaker and Professionally Accredited Member of the Association of Business Mentors.