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  • Writer's pictureDr. Johannes Ripken

The engine fails: Succession planning as a critical success factor for companies


In the world of business succession, I have recently come across a serious problem again and again that threatens the existence of many companies. When the owner or the management leaves the company, the engine of the company breaks away. As a trainer for business networking and business relationship management, I experience this first-hand and have also gained insights through my cooperation with renowned succession consultancies such as HWB Unternehmerberatung and EUROCON. In this article, I would like to take a closer look at the problems involved and show how companies can successfully meet these challenges.


  1. Loss of the network: One of the biggest stumbling blocks in business succession is the loss of the valuable customer and business partner network that the owner has built up over the years. This network can be lost or at least weakened by the owner's departure. To counteract this problem, it is crucial to work proactively on developing structures, skills and a corresponding mindset. The company should be able to build new contacts and relationships to maintain customer loyalty and generate new business opportunities.

  2. Sales challenges: Often the owner plays a central role in sales and customer acquisition because of his strong network and personal connections. When the owner leaves the company, there can be significant sales challenges. There is a risk of a lack of sales expertise and a decline in customer acquisition, especially if there is no suitable successor or effective sales team. Here, rebuilding the sales force with the support of the existing or complementary network is essential to sustain sales activities and move the business forward. At this point, I can highly recommend the team at Kunde Consulting, who build sustainable sales structures in companies. derEinblicke gewonnen. In diesem Artikel möchte ich die damit verbundenen Probleme genauer betrachten und zeigen, wie Unternehmen diesen Herausforderungen erfolgreich begegnen können.

  3. Loss of trust: Another significant problem that can accompany the departure of the owner is the loss of trust among customers and employees. The owner is often the face of the company and enjoys the trust of stakeholders. When the owner leaves the company, this can lead to uncertainty and doubt. Customers may question whether the company can continue to provide the same quality and service without the owner. Employees may also be uncertain and question their loyalty to the company. It is critical to have the right relationship management in place to maintain customer and employee trust and ensure a smooth transition.


How to solve these challenges: In view of the already existing demographic change and the increasingly tense succession situation, it becomes clear how important it is to establish the right structures in the company at an early stage. Professional succession planning that takes into account how to deal with the problems mentioned above is of great importance. As a trainer for business networking and business relationship management, I currently support precisely such companies in establishing and maintaining these critical structures. Targeted training, the establishment of effective networks and the strengthening of sales skills can ensure a successful transition and long-term success of the business.


Conclusion: Succession planning is a crucial success factor for companies. Loss of network, sales challenges and loss of trust with customers and employees are major risks. However, by taking a proactive approach and setting up appropriate structures, companies can overcome these problems. It is of great importance to involve the right support and expertise to ensure a smooth transition and keep the company successful in the long run.



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