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Adviser Innovation, 16 September 2021

Australian digital platform launches in North America

A local digital platform has expanded to North America.

On Thursday, Australasian business succession and exit planning advisory firm, Succession Plus, confirmed the news and said that the Capitaliz platform will help North American advisers “unlock untapped value for small to medium-sized businesses”.

Capitaliz enables automatic businesses automation, benchmarking and value enhancement guidance for advisers to deliver successful exits for their clients.

Investor Daily | 16 September 2021

Australian digital platform launches in North America

A local digital platform has expanded to North America.

On Thursday, Australasian business succession and exit planning advisory firm, Succession Plus, confirmed the news and said that the Capitaliz platform will help North American advisers “unlock untapped value for small to medium-sized businesses”.

Capitaliz enables automatic businesses automation, benchmarking and value enhancement guidance for advisers to deliver successful exits for their clients.

Money|Management | 12 Aug 2021

Lockdown lowers adviser business valuation

Australian lockdowns are likely to send a recovering financial adviser mergers and acquisition (M&A) market into reverse as owners realise the lockdown will negatively impact their business’ valuation.

Money|Management | Aug 11, 2021

Younger staff sets firms up with succession planning

Firms seeking to put a succession plan in place would benefit from hiring younger advisers who will be at the firm for the long-term.

As many advisers left the industry, this was creating gaps that needed to be filled but there was a lack of suitable advisers available. This meant there were opportunities for younger advisers or graduates who were seeking their first role.

Dynamic Business | Aug 11, 2021

Let’s Talk: What is the best business advice you ever received?

“Begin with the end in mind, from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen R. Covey (habit #2). This means making sure each and every decision you make in business gets you closer to your endgame.

“The people you employ, the business model you adopt, the financial strategy you map out and the way you market and promote your product, your pricing model, your client service and delivery – all need to focus on the endgame. If you look at a decision that is taking you further away from that, it is the wrong decision.

Smart Company, 9 August 2021

SME valuations hit record high of $1.4 trillion in June with more businesses looking to sell

Small and medium business valuations hit a record high of $1.4 trillion in June before the latest wave of COVID-19 lockdowns hit businesses across Australia, fresh data from Australia’s biggest succession planning advisory firm shows.

New research by Succession Plus found the total value of Australian SMEs was $1.437 trillion at the end of June, or an average of $605,079 per business. And while owners sat on record values for their businesses, many were looking to sell, with listings up 5.86% since the previous quarter.

Dynamic Business | Aug 5, 2021

Government releases new draft legislation for employee share schemes

The Australian government has released exposure draught legislation proposing tax and regulatory changes that will make it easier to implement ESSs.

Employee incentive schemes (ESSs) are used by employers to attract, retain, and motivate employees by issuing shares, share options, interests in shares, or other benefits resulting from shares.

Business Excellence | Jul 10, 2021

Succession Planning on the Business Excellence Podcast

Australia has a large number of baby boomer business owners that are currently heading towards or preparing for retirement with no real plan for an exit from their business.

The first thing to do is begin with the end in mind, start to think about – what does my exit look like?


Money|Management | Jun 25, 2021

Planning for the end

Interest in Employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) has increased dramatically in the last 12 months as business owners seek to ensure their workforce is aligned, motivated and focussed amid the disruption to work arrangements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paint & Panel | Mar 8, 2021

Succession & Exit Planning with Craig West on The Paint and Panel Podcast

How can you structure your business so you’re ready when it’s time to sell? Craig West has the answers! Having spent 20 years as a strategic accountant, Craig now specialises in advising business owners on succession planning. Takeovers can happen very quickly in the Smash Repair business, so you need to be ready. Even if you have no intention of selling, Craig outlines why it’s a good idea to tidy up your business to maximise the sale value.

Business Succession and Exit Planning – Australian Financial Review

One of the most significant transfers of wealth in history is currently underway throughout the world as baby boomers approach retirement (approx. 5,000 are turning 65 per week in Australia). The first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and whilst many have delayed retirement well past that age – it obviously cannot be postponed forever. For those who are business owners, the value represented by their business is a substantial component of their overall wealth. This means that designing and implementing a successful exit strategy is a critical component of their comprehensive wealth planning.


Money|Management | Sep 24, 2020


Succession Plus appoints NowInfinity founder

Succession Plus has announced the appointment of Amreeta Abbott as a shareholder and board member, following the sale of her NowInfinity business for $25 million to Class. Abbott and her colleague Vitalii Symon, former chief technology officer, both departed the cloud solutions provider to “pursue other projects” following the integration of the business into Class, which was first announced in January.

ANZ Private | May 2016

How to sell a business for the right price

When selling a business, the big money is in the preparation not the actual transaction, says Craig West, CEO of Succession Plus and executive chairman of the SME Association of Australia.He believes owners should start preparing for a sale, and ideally engage a professional, 12 to 18 months ahead of going to market. An adviser can help a seller secure the maximum price by developing and overseeing an exit strategy that involves de-risking the business, protecting value, implementing changes, securing future income and locking in key staff.

ANZ Private | Jun 21, 2019

Before a business sale, decisions matter by the millions

Succession Plus CEO Craig West says the first thing he organises for new clients is a business valuation. After accounting for assets, debts, capital-gains tax and other transition costs, a business’s net value may be different to what its owner expects. “They key thing is, you have to work out what have they got,” West says. “In most cases they don’t know what the business is worth. Is it saleable? Can they pass it on to their kids? Sell it to their employees? They don’t know what their options are.”

ANZ Private | May 30, 2019

How to move on from your business with real purpose

Craig West, Managing Director of succession planning and business advisory firm Succession Plus which has offices around Australia, says for some of the clients he has worked with, the thought of separating from their business causes such anxiety that they talk themselves out of exiting and hang on for far too long.

ANZ Private | May 30, 2019

Early talk is the best start to family business succession

Talking about family aspirations may be daunting, but avoiding succession planning puts business, and family harmony, at risk. At the back of many business-owners’ minds are unresolved questions such as “Is the next generation prepared to take on my family business?” and “Have I had the necessary discussions to prepare for a successful transition?”. Succession Plus CEO Craig West, who helps businesses navigate this difficult journey, outlines factors that make family succession planning particularly complex.

Safe Space | Jun 12, 2019

The Strategy of Succession Planning with Craig West

In this episode of Safe Space with Francesco Lombardo, Craig West talks about the challenges in family business transition and the three key things family business owners should focus on to achieve a good outcome. 

Yahoo Finance | Jun 10, 2019

Australian Succession Planning Company Celebrating Their Tenth Anniversary

Succession Plus, one of Australia’s most forward-thinking and innovative companies is proud to announce that they have recently celebrated ten years in business. The company is actively working on expansion plans, into the United Kingdom.

Aspect Legal

Tips on Exit Planning and How to Get Businesses to Start with the End in Mind

Believe it or not, it pays to think about your exit strategy early in the business cycle. Listen in and learn all about the most common mistakes owners make in this area from author and strategic accountant, Craig West, Managing Director and Founder of Succession Plus.

Families & Business

How do I attract, retain and motivate key employees?

In the sixth issue of Families and Business Magazine, Craig West shares why employees leave and why attracting, retaining and motivating staff has now become an important issue for business owners.

Bold Businesses | Nov 17, 2017

Preparing for the ‘Known Unknowns’

This episode will have Craig West explaining about how best to plan for the unknown and manage some of the challenges not only family businesses, but all small businesses face in a disruptive market.

The Daily Advertiser | Nov 25, 2017

Succession Planning Focus at Orman Solicitors

Planning for the future when it comes to business, farming and your estate is one of the most important plans to be made and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Succession planning will ensure the future of a business owner’s or farmer’s greatest asset. Wagga solicitor Maggie Orman is passionate about helping farmers and business owners implement a plan to ensure future success.

Smallville – Employees are Keen to Climb the Ladder to Equity – But Someone Needs to Provide the Ladder

While the research undoubtedly shows an increase in employees looking for equity in the business they work for – Australia lags behind on the world stage in providing a mechanism to achieve this. According to recent research in both the United States and Europe, a little over 30% of employees have some kind of equity interest in the business they work for, while in Australia that number is around 8%. A simple mechanism to manage the transition through various stages is the issue – it is not simple, nor smart, to simply take an employee and provide them with equity – and thus the ladder becomes important.

Business Brain Food

Craig West on Business Brain Food | Tips and Tricks to Grow Your Business

Focusing on an exit plan is vital to ensure that your business enhances your life in the way that you want it to, and at the same time will make your day-to-day business more effective. Craig West talks about exit planning and how vital it is for every organisation to take this step to ensure they extract maximum business value.

Craig West Interview- Business Builders on Talking Lifestyle

The Business Builders show provides the best tips on how to build your business, make it bigger and become more successful. In this interview with Nick Bennett and David Koch, Craig West, the Executive Chairman of the SMEA of Australia, shares his views on the recent small business budget and how it will affect the SMEs.

Financial Observer | Jun 02, 2016

Baby Boomers Hit by Succession Concerns

Sentry Group chief executive and chairman Murray Hills said the national licensee group had noticed succession planning was a significant challenge for Australian small to medium enterprise (SME) owners, particularly among the baby boomer generation.

“The depth of challenges facing baby boomers seeking to retire in the coming years is enormous, with the greatest [concern] being that of trying to sell a business in a buyers’ market,” Hills said.

Craig West – Ovations Speakers Bureau

Craig West is a strategic accountant and the CEO of Succession Plus which is a specialised advisory practice focused on small business owners to help them manage the four key strategic issues that SME’s face as they grow – Raising Capital, Building Equity, Protecting that equity and extracting the value you have built when you exit.

Financial Observer | Feb 09, 2016

Aligned businesses key to good sale

Aligned product providers and competitors would see the most strategic value in purchasing a financial planning business and therefore should be considered as part of a business owner’s succession plan, according to Succession Plus.

The Adviser | Sep 25, 2015

Add value or risk becoming obsolete, says business leader

The head of the SME Association of Australia has urged brokers to consider the value proposition of diversifying into business lending as the home loan market faces stiff competition from online players.

Accountants Daily

Succession Advisory Breaks Into US Market

Succession Plus, an advisory firm specialising in business succession and exit planning for Australian SMEs, is expanding its operations into the US.

Happy Landings With Succession Planning

Speak to anyone with experience in succession planning and they will tell you the same thing; to maximise the value of your business you need to plan your exit well ahead of time.

Exit Coach | Oct 19, 2014

Exit Coach 20M Interivew The Impact of Exit Panning – Craig West

Craig West discusses the impact exit planners can have by helping prepare financial, business, and personal matters.

Insurance Business | Sep 18, 2014

Employee share plans could turn brokerage employees around

Brokers could be making more use of employee share plans to engage and motivate their employees to think and act more like business owners.

Risk Info | Oct 01, 2013

Neglecting Business Succession a Growing Problem for Advisers, Clients

A business succession planning expert predicts problems on the horizon for many financial advisers and their SME business clients, where each may be putting off their succession plans until it is too late.

Money|Management | Nov 28, 2013

SMEs struggling on succession planning front

The lack of retirement preparedness by small business owners continues to be a major concern, according to Craig West, founder and chief executive officer of Succession Plus.

Money|Management | Sep 18, 2013

Small business sales need to fund retirement

Australian small businesses represent a retirement income challenge in circumstances where 33 per cent of small business owners have said they are entirely reliant on the sale of the business for cash to fund their retirement, yet 75 per cent do not have an agreed or documented succession plan.

Self-Managed Super | Dec 02, 2013

Succession planning about knowing key indicators

In order to formulate an effective succession plan, SMSF strategists and other practitioners need to know the key drivers of revenue in their businesses, especially those elements that will come into play in the future, according to an industry expert. – See more at: http://www.smsmagazine.com.au/articles/succession-planning-about-knowing-key-indicators#!

The Sydney Morning Herald | Jun 14, 2003

From tax to returns from a fuller partnership role

Three years ago, Craig West ran a typical small accountancy practice. He had a turnover of $170,000, employed a couple of people and was preoccupied with tax returns for 450 clients. If a client walked in the door and was “living, breathing and had a heartbeat”, West was happy to look after him or her, even with straightforward personal tax returns. Today, West’s AllState Partners turns over $1.6 million, employs 22 people in Sydney and recently opened an office on the Gold Coast.

Vodafone|Red Wire

How to Merge Business & Family Successfully

Craig advises family businesses in particular to work at any strategy and planning decisions, with a clear understanding of how and why they are making particular decisions. Family business owner roles can cut across owner, parent, employer and/or employee. So it’s about putting your hat on and saying, ‘Well actually as a business owner, I’m making this decision; as a family member it’s something different.’

How to Future-proof Your Business

Succession Plus Founder and Chief Executive Craig West says while there are certain issues particular to family businesses, the lessons they can learn are universal: face disruptive market forces head on; have a plan for the worst case scenario, and learn to recognise the motivations driving decision making in the business.

The Marketing Strategy Company | Oct 20, 2017

The Marketing Show – Maximising Your Business Valuation

Having the correct sales and marketing strategies in place can assist not only increasing your profits, but in maximising your Business Valuation. On this episode of the Marketing Strategy Show, Craig West talks about the best sales and marketing strategies you need to have in place to maximise the value of your business as well as grow your profits.

Smallville – How to Maximise the Value of Your Business – Part 2 (External Factors)

What do you need to prepare to attract the right buyer (who will pay more) and convince them of your value and finally make sure they “sign the cheque”? Having bought or sold several businesses over the last 15 years, several factors stand out: 1) How would you add significant value to your business as a buyer? 2) Who has complementary products or services or who already serves your clients?

Smallville – How to Maximise the Value of Your Business – Part 1 (Internal Factors)

What are the key things you can focus on to ensure your business is valuable, attractive and saleable? Is the size of your business “right” for your industry and market in order to maximise sale value? In this article, Craig West talks about the eight (8) internal factors that determine and drive business value.

Craig West – Official Smallville Contributor

Craig’s practice Succession Plus is the largest Business Succession and Exit Planning firm in Australia and provides mentoring, advice and strategy for clients looking to prepare their business for a successful exit. In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, an organisation focused on improving the success of SMEs in Australia.

Morbid Realities Impacting Broker Succession Plans

Too many insurance brokers are putting off succession planning until it’s too late because they don’t want to acknowledge the ‘morbid reality’ of their own mortality, according to a recent report.

Business Succession and Exit planning – white paper – Insurance Broking

There are a number of key trends which owners of Insurance Broking Businesses can focus on to be successful, this Whitepaper focuses on recent developments in Mergers & Acquisitions, valuation, prominent risks and opportunities, with special reference to use of an Employee Share Ownership Plan ( ESOP) as a Business Succession & Exit Planning tool.

Financial Observer | Feb 08, 2016

Risk management, governance key to succession

Robust risk management and governance processes are cornerstones for financial planning practices seeking to develop and fulfil a succession plan for their businesses.

Speaking at the Succession Planning Day 2016 in Sydney, jointly hosted by Succession Plus and financialobserver, Succession Plus New South Wales partner David Cambridge said the most successful enterprises had and followed set processes.

First 5000 | Nov 18, 2015

How the CEO gets paid

The employee compensation practices of publicly listed companies are of great interest to employees, investors, business media and researchers alike.

They are also influential in shaping public expectations and by extension, the policies and practices of private companies.

Help Clients Maximise Their Business Value

Selling a business or planning succession can be a pivotal time in a client’s life and advisers have a key part to play. There are a number of questions you can ask to prompt clients to think about this key issue, and to determine the sale readiness of their business.

Insurance Business | Mar 24, 2014

How To Maximise The Value Of Your Business When You Exit

When it comes to succession planning, bear in mind some essential points to ensure you maximise the value of your business and achieve a successful exit, explains Craig West, the president of the Australian chapter of the Exit Planning Institute.

Insurances News | Jun 23, 2014

SMEs note rising insurance costs

More than half of SMEs say insurance and workers’ compensation costs have increased noticeably in the past year, a new survey shows. About 37% report significant rises in utility costs, 53% in technology costs and 51% in wage bills, according to the SME Association of Australia study.

Inside Small Business

Begin with the end in mind

Steve Covey’s second habit is ‘Begin with the end in mind’ – this means that every decision we make in business should be made considering our ultimate exit strategy.

Inside Small Business | Jul 10, 2014

Maximise the value of your business for a successful exit

The research tells us that most don’t have a strategy around how to do this and therefore often fail to either maximise or extract the value, or both.

Inside Small Business | Jul 17, 2014

Maximise the value of your business for a successful exit – part 2

Last week we looked at the results of the 2013 MGI Australian Family and Private Business Survey (Read part 1) Succession (or exit) will happen to you sooner or later, and it is important to take charge and manage the process rather than just let it happen to you. I have worked with many business owners who have successfully done this, and in so doing have devised excellent exit strategies. They have managed to substantially improve the value of their business, find a strategic buyer to preserve (and often improve) their legacy, and been able to fund their retirement.

Inside Small Business | Jul 24, 2014

Maximise the value of your business for a successful exit – part 3

External – what do we need to prepare to attract the right buyer (who will pay more) and convince them of our value and finally make sure they sign the cheque?

Self-Managed Super | Jul 24, 2014

Advisory businesses need to be boutique or scale

Advisers need to position themselves as running either a boutique business or one that takes advantage of significant scale, according to a succession planning expert.

“Accounting practices and financial planning firms fit somewhere in the spectrum between boutique or scale,” Succession Plus chief executive Craig West told attendees at last Friday’s selfmanagedsuper NowInfinity SMSF Strategies Day in Sydney.

Succession Planning And Business Exit Strategies With Craig West

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. As the author of 3 books on the topics of exit planning, employee share ownership plans and asset protection, Craig is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to setting your business up for the future!

The Sydney Morning Herald | May 04, 2015

Which businesses are selling?

In the third quarter of 2012, there were 20,000 businesses throughout Australia up for sale. Six months later, it was 32,500 and by the end of 2014, the number hit 41,200.

Some are calling it the sell-off of a generation; too many Baby Boomer sellers entering their mid to late 60s, wanting to get out of their respective games.

Money|Management | Jun 9, 2021

The reluctance of business owners to sell their advice firms is leaving a generation of advisers unable to progress, according to Succession Plus.

Many owners were now working into their advanced years which meant there was “no natural pathway” for younger members of staff to take over the business.

Speaking to Money Management, chief executive, Craig West, said when advisers did eventually sell-up, they were often skipping a generation in their 50s and going directly to those younger staff in their 30s.