According to an analysis by Helbling Unternehmensberatung, the risk of undesirable development after the takeover increases massively if succession planning is too short-term and "forced".

In such a situation

17% of companies develop positively (sales and earnings growth greater than 5%)

31% of the companies stagnate (sales and earnings growth +/- 5%)

52% of the companies develop negatively (loss of sales and earnings greater than 5%)

Shifted age limit

If we look at everyday life in Swiss SMEs today, a specific phenomenon emerges: in very many cases, owners who are also managing directors work well beyond the retirement age of 65 or 64.

This has a lot to do with better health conditions. The consequence of this phenomenon is that the question of succession often arises later than before. Nevertheless, addressing the question of succession is still an urgent one and should be tackled early enough.

The Swiss reality shows that about 30% of dealing with succession is due to systematic planning for the future, another third deals with the issue due to illness or death of the owner and about 40% deals with the succession issue due to problems in the company.

It is obvious that if the question of succession is only asked when it is urgent, the risk of an unsuccessful solution increases.

When is succession planning up to date?

Basically, the optimal time for succession planning is determined by answering the following questions:

- How long do I still plan to manage the company operationally?

- Am I aiming for a gradual or rapid handover of the company?

- Is there a family-internal succession option?

- In how many years at the earliest can a successor within the family take over the management of the company independently?

- Does the succession have to be solved outside the family?

- Is the intended successor already in the company or must he first be sought?

- Can an external successor take over the operational management immediately or after only a short introduction, or

- does it need a longer introduction period by me?

Depending on the answers to these questions, the time for the search for a successor may be postponed or brought forward.