How a CFO Helps with Business Succession Planning

"Good leaders develop ideas. Great leaders develop people. The best leaders develop new leaders." – Anon.

Succession planning is a pivotal part of ensuring the long-term viability and success of any business. However, it's an area that many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often overlook due to the demands of day-to-day operations. As specialists in financial advice and business leadership, we understand the critical role that a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) plays in successful succession planning. Here, we explore how a CFO contributes to this process and why their involvement is essential for business continuity.


1. Financial Health Assessment

A CFO's expertise extends beyond number-crunching: The best Financial Directors provide a comprehensive assessment of their company's financial health by identifying overall strengths and areas for improvement. This evaluation is crucial for succession planning as it enables your business to address any financial vulnerabilities before transitions, ensuring any successor starts on solid footing.


2. Value Maximisation

A key part of a CFO’s role is maximising the value of your business. They achieve this by identifying profitable opportunities, streamlining operations, and implementing cost-effective strategies. During succession planning, this skillset is invaluable. A CFO can help enhance the value of your business, making it an attractive proposition for successors or potential buyers.


3. Risk Management

"Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan." - Simon Sinek

Risk management is a critical component of succession planning, and this is where a CFO truly shines. With their deep understanding of financial trends and market dynamics, CFOs can identify potential risks that could affect the transition. They then devise strategies to mitigate these risks, safeguarding the business and ensuring a smooth handover.


4. Developing Financial Strategies

A CFO plays a central role in devising financial strategies that support your business's objectives. When it comes to succession planning, these strategies provide a roadmap for the future, offering clear guidance for the successor when they enter the company. This can include plans for capital structure, investment, cash flow management, and much more.


5. Training and Mentoring

As part of the succession plan, your CFO can also help in training and mentoring the successor, particularly if the role involves significant financial decision-making. The CFO’s wealth of knowledge and experience in financial management and business leadership can be instrumental in preparing the successor for the challenges ahead. Having a right-hand man can be the difference between sinking, and swimming.


6. Identifying The Best Succession Planning Option

The valuable input ensures that business owners can make informed decisions aligned with their personal objectives and goals. By evaluating the financial implications and potential outcomes of each succession option, the CFO helps the owners choose the most suitable plan.

Here at Evoke Management, our team of dedicated part-time CFOs provide comprehensive financial advice tailored to your enterprise needs. We believe in the power of sound financial management and strategic leadership in driving business success, especially through transitions.

In summary, the role of a CFO in succession planning is multifaceted, involving a blend of technical skills and strategic thinking. By involving a CFO in your business succession planning, you are investing in your company's long-term success and ensuring the continuation of your business legacy.


What Next?

If you're an Owner/Founder, don't underestimate the importance of a strategic succession plan. Succession planning is not merely a task to be ticked off your to-do list; it's an integral part of ensuring your business’ sustainability and success as it grows into the future.

At Evoke Management, we’re here to help you navigate this crucial process. Our experienced, part-time CFOs are ready to jump into your business and help you craft a robust succession plan. Don’t leave the future of your business to chance; contact us today and secure the future of your business. After all, your business deserves nothing less. Book your free consultation today.

Rob Boll
Founder & CEO