Small businesses have been urged to set up succession plans today, so they can prevent problems cropping up tomorrow.

Poor succession planning is one of the biggest issues facing small business, according to the small business ombudsman, Kate Carnell.

Ms Carnell uncovered several issues during a nationwide consultation to find out what is affecting small business:

  • Succession planning
  • Excessive red tape
  • Unfair payment terms
  • Telco accessibility
  • Banking disputes

Recent studies have shown that just 16 per cent of family businesses have a secure and robust succession process, according to Ms Carnell.

“I know from personal experience though that, as daunting as it may be, having a plan in place for the day you decide to leave your business is one of the most important aspects of your overall business plan,” she said.

“Whether you retire, sell-up or have to leave because of poor health, knowing who will take over your business, and how, will not only ensure a smooth and hassle-free transition, but will help give you peace of mind that your future – and the future of your business – is in good hands.”

Ms Carnell said that while succession planning is a sensitive issue, taking action can solve a lot of problems before they occur.