Going into Goats: A practical guide to producing goats in the rangelands

The succession planning process

Succession planning is an evolving process that ensures the continuation of a business through generations or through layers of management.

A succession plan details how the property owner intends to leave or transfer the business ownership and management upon exiting. Factors underpinning the need for a well documented and clearly communicated plan include:

  • Tighter margins and higher land values.
  • The potential for conflicting expectations among family members.
  • The growing complexity of laws that impact on the transfer of assets.
The process

Every succession plan will vary depending on the owner's financial position, type of enterprise, family situation, business objectives, age and health. There are, however, several common steps:

  • Preparation and gathering of background information
    It is useful for everyone involved in the planning process to have a clear understanding of the property's current financial position and enterprise structure.

  • Establishing objectives and priorities
    The current legal land owners must consider personal goals and visions.

  • Consulting interested parties
    Everyone with an interest in the property should, at some point, be involved in the consultation process.

  • Investigating options
    Once the direction of the succession plan is set, investigation into various options should be considered.

  • Decision-making
    Often the way a decision is made is just as important as the decision itself. If everyone with a direct interest in the business is consulted and included in the process, they are more likely to be comfortable with the outcome.

    Once discussed and agreed, it is useful to list tasks for actioning and follow up to ensure that all have been informed and understand the decision. Clearly communicated and measured time frames can assist in providing structure and clarity for the succession plan.

The final step is ensuring that the plan is put into practice and reviewed every couple of years or when a significant change occurs.