Surrey Business News
A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity is Here: Are Canadian Private Business Owners Prepared?
Canada’s current generation of private and family business owners largely consists of baby boomers—and they’re quickly reaching retirement age. We’ve long speculated about the effects this mass shift would have on our economy and now an unprecedented transfer of wealth and responsibility is underway.
At PWC Canada, we work with business owners to prepare their companies for a successful sale or succession and help the next generation (next gen) feel equally ready to carry those companies forward. Owners need to be thinking strategically about their long-term exit plan, as it will arrive sooner than they think. Here are four things to keep in mind.
1. Business transfers are emotional for everyone involved.
• Private companies are a vital part of the community.
• Both current and next gen owners need to be transparent in their communication throughout this transition—with their employees, with their customers and especially with each other.
For the next gen, continue to foster an open dialogue with the current business
2. There are multiple stakeholders to consider.
• There are plenty of people with a vested interest in your business, but none more so than those who stand to inherit it. Both current and next gen leaders need to reconcile their views, values and vision for the future of the company.
• Without taking steps to guarantee a seamless transition to your successor, the continuity of your business will be at risk.
Succession can be especially complex because each subsequent generation grows and spreads out. Sometimes selling the business
• owners and show that you’re committed to continuing their legacy.
• becomes more practical than passing it on.
Figure out early on whether or not you have willing successors; because if not, it’s time to prepare for a sale or to find the professional management you’ll need to continue the business.
3. Before your business transfers, maximize its value.
• If you’re leaving the business, maximize the value of your company so you can sell your business at a higher price and give your company a competitive edge, protecting your legacy and empowering the next gen for success.
• Make sure you have not only the technological foundations to futureproof your company in a
• changing world, but also the strategy, talent and culture to thrive.
Consider working with an advisor to provide you with a third-party perspective on your business assets and baseline valuation. This will help identify lowhanging fruit for driving up the deal value of your company and differentiate you from competitors.
4. New ideas, new growth and a new generation.
• Our Once in a Lifetime report explores the changing landscape of Canada’s private and family companies, providing owners with the advice, tools and real world success stories they need to navigate the turbulence and seize opportunities every step of the way. I encourage you to read through the series as well as the accompanying insights from our private company services experts. Reach out to our team so we can help you create a successful plan. - Aynsley Price
Partner, Private Company Services, Small Business Solutions pwc.com/ca/onceinalifetime