Half of SMEs would fail without founder, says survey

Sean Elliot, managing director of Roslin-based Network ROI
Sean Elliot, managing director of Roslin-based Network ROI
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Almost half of Scotland’s small firms would go under within a year if their founder left suddenly, according to survey carried out by a Midlothian firm.

Roslin-based IT services company Network ROI also said that, “more worryingly”, nearly a quarter of Scottish businesses said their company would survive less than a month without the founder at the helm.

Managing director Sean Elliot said: “We carried out the business continuity and succession planning survey to get a better understanding of attitudes towards these issues within the UK small business community.

“The results show that business continuity is an area that requires a greater deal of investment and understanding, especially within the SME space.”

Elliott added: “Succession planning represents an important part of the business continuity process, and it deserves some careful consideration as many smaller businesses fail in the immediate aftermath of losing a leader.

“Doing simple things like having a discussion with your family and professional advisers in the first instance are important. Blocking out a few hours in your work diary each week will give you enough time to put a simple plan together.”

Businesses in Northern Ireland demonstrated most confidence in their business continuity strategies, according to the Network ROI survey of 501 business owners and managers, with two-thirds saying their firm could survive without their founder – the highest figure in the UK.