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Make systemic plan for business sustainability before your death

By Rosemary Onuoha

MOST businesses have not been able to outlive their founders, due to their failure to make deliberate and systematic plan before their death. In other words, most businesses have failed after the original founder due to lack of deliberate and systematic plan in the transfer of the ownership of the business from one family to the next.

 Civil Servants on  the queue for verification exercise.
File Photo: Retired civil Servants on the queue for verification exercise.

As an entrepreneur running whether a small or big business, your desire is to see your business flourish and outlive you.

If you want to realise this, as the original founder, you have to embrace adequate grooming of successor(s) in the business line, through proper vocational or professional education.

You should know that succession issues are not limited to the Nigeria’s family businesses alone, but is of universal appeal.

Interestingly, family businesses, which may either, be sole trading or vocational businesses, including professional practices which are of relatively recent origin, constitute an important group of enterprises within the small to medium scale sector.

Experts are of the opinion that when most business founders become successful in the businesses, out of the fear of their own backgrounds, they often educate their children in exotic disciplines unrelated to their line of business, thereby lending credence to the ‘qualified but not suitable’ syndrome, a veritable panacea for succession failure.

According to experts, this kind of education fails to inculcate into the would-be successor, the dream, passion, discipline and sometimes the integrity of the founder, which are his/her personal attributes, and which are non-transferable.
Hence, as an entrepreneur, you should establish a clear and meaningful strategic development process for easy succession with a view to sustaining the business because succession plan is required and should be carried out at the right time.

Governance structure

However, such succession plan must be crafted early enough and proper values must also be instilled in the successor because this knowledge is essential to project the ethos of sustainability of businesses with good corporate governance structure entrenched in any business.

Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, said that business owners should also see insurance as the best investment vehicle and approach genuine insurance companies for sound investment advice for sustainability of businesses.

“With a little premium, insurance gives confidence that guarantees personal well-being and comfort as well as investments that engender the much desired development and growth,” Ogunbiyi said.

Ogunbiyi said, “For instance, several years ago, the textile industry in the United States of America suffered a severe setback because of frequent fire outbreaks in textile mills.

The insurance industry in the US with its ingenuity intervened with tailor-made risk management services and insurance policies and a dramatic growth ensued.

“We in Mutual Benefits have demystified the myth that this potentially huge business of spreading risks in order to promote substantial investments in the productive sector, cannot thrive in the informal sector even better than it is doing in the formal sector.

Formal sector

Being an entrepreneur, you should also be cautious of putting your money into alluring investment structures because a lot of fraudulent investment vehicles are in existence. In essence, you should be careful about jumping into any investment vehicle without carrying out due diligence about such investment.

Group Managing Director of Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc, Mr. Wole Oshin said that people should not get into any structure that promises 50 per cent return on investment in the immediate term when you don’t know how the 50 per cent could come about.

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