Would you survive without your founder?

posted by 4 years ago in News

A survey carried out by, IT Service Company, Network ROI has confirmed that nearly 50% of UK SMEs admit that if their founder suddenly left, the business would not survive a full year without them. Not only that but one third of SME owners and managers believe that the business would crumble within a month.

With English respondents believing that their businesses would crash within a year and those in Scotland within a month, it’s only Northern Irish managers and owners who have confidence that their business would continue to grow with that figure only making up two-thirds of those who responded.

The survey also indicated that those from the age of 65+ have more faith in their companies expanding and growing. 100% of them believe it will once they leave, but taking age into consideration, is this just because they are more prepared to let go as retirement creeps up on them? Essentially it is their choice when they decide to leave, recent research claims that ‘olderpreneurs are setting the pace for the wonder kids.’

The managing director of Network ROI, Sean Elliot has commented by saying ‘We carried out the business continuity and succession planning survey to get a better understanding of attitudes towards these issues within the UK small business community. The results show that business continuity is an area that requires a greater deal of investment and understanding, especially within the SME space.’

UK, businesses understand that succession planning is an issue that needs to be addressed based on a study. Other issues which SME’s worry about are poor IT and telecommunication issues; according to a study by the BCI “77% of professionals are concerned about the effects of unplanned IT or telecommunications outage.” It’s no wonder IT is the highest threat when taking things such as; downtime costing the business millions into account, which can affect the brand negatively and cause a loss in revenue.

The Federation of Small Businesses have also contributed with figures showing that 80% of businesses who are affected by something severe like downtime issues will eventually end up closing the business within 18 months, and 90% of businesses will end up being forced to close their doors between 2 years because of a loss of data, due to unwelcome IT outages.

Sean Elliot finishes by saying “succession planning represents an important part of the business continuity process, and it deserves some careful consideration as many smaller businesses fail in the immediate aftermath of losing a leader.

‘Doing simple things like having a discussion with your family and professional advisors in the first instance are important. Blocking out a few hours in your work diary each week will give you enough time to put a simple plan together.’

Head of Businesscomparison.com, Philip Brennan has commented by saying;

“As a business owner we all like to feel important and don’t always pass on responsibility as it is safer to do it ourselves. However, this is short sighted. Having good people you can trust means that they can ease the burden. You should have a Catastrophe Plan to cover certain scenarios and at least one of these should include you not being there, to see it through. Planning and good timing are both essential when it comes to leaving at the right time.  When do you think is the right time to let go?