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Succession planning not a priority for most small business owners

February 11, 2016, Vancouver, B.C. - Some 89 per cent of small business owners surveyed in Metro Vancouver and Victoria say they do not have a succession plan for their business.

The survey was initiated by Vancity and conducted by Insights West to identify and assess the needs of small business owners. The results confirm small business owners are focused on day-to-day operations. However, taking time out to plan for the future of the company is not a priority.

Business owners spend their lives building their business. Without a succession plan in place, their families, suppliers, employees and customers could be financially impacted.

To support small business owners in developing their financial plan, Vancity and Small Business BC will host a workshop on Friday, Feb. 12. Attendees will learn how to take a 360-degree view of the relationship they have with their business. They will also learn how to address the unexpected and take the critical steps for succession planning.

The top 5 financial planning tips for business owners:

  1. Don’t procrastinate. Prepare how you will manage a financial crisis or an unexpected death in your business team.
  2. Talk to your financial advisor and a lawyer about effective tax planning.
  3. Be aware of the market value of your business.
  4. Select a successor who is skilled and trained.
  5. Plan your exit and retirement strategy.

Survey highlights by community
Percentage of small business owners who have a succession plan:

  • 18% in the Fraser Valley
  • 14% in Vancouver
  • 11% in Victoria
  • 10% in Surrey
  • 9% in other areas of Metro Vancouver


“Business owners know they can’t work forever. A financial plan can be a great roadmap to help achieve your business goals and personal dreams.” Sophie Salcito, investment advisor for Vancity
“Small businesses are so critical to the economic health of every community in the province. We want to ensure business owners have the information they need, so they’re prepared to manage the unexpected during any stage of their business.” George Hunter, CEO of Small Business BC


Vancity commissioned Insights West to conduct an online poll of 677 small business owners in Metro Vancouver and Victoria between Oct. 13 and Oct. 21, 2015. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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