The succession process is one of the most important milestones in the life of an entrepreneur, and sometimes they even go through it twice – once to take over the company, and once to hand it over to someone else.
Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to say goodbye to their own company, as their company often represents the realization of their life's work. This is why the transfer of companies is usually delayed until the last possible moment. In about 80% of company successions carried out during the last ten years, the handover was due to health or age. In more than half of the handovers, a solution was found that keeps things in the family (FBO).
In the case of family businesses, the supposed succession often takes place years before the actual handover. At the same time, however, experience shows that many children of entrepreneurs do not want to join their parents' company at all. What to do? In general, it is worth investigating various succession options at an early stage. One option is to search for a successor via a company exchange. While the entrepreneurs surveyed are rather skeptical about company exchanges, such platforms also offer advantages: For example, going through a company exchange increases the visibility of the company, since you come into contact with a larger number of potential buyers.
Unforeseen events can also affect the resolution or timing of the handover. For example, the current changes in the economic environment following the coronavirus pandemic have led 6% of entrepreneurs to push forward their own company handover. A blow of fate or pressure from the competition or one's own family can also unexpectedly speed up the handover of the company. Those who set the course for a smooth handover at an early stage and who deal with the company succession years before the actual handover are at an advantage.