Time to succeed

Adam Bernstein begins a new series on succession

The Federation of Small Businesses in its UK Small Business Statistics, Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions in 2020, reckoned that at the start of 2020 there were six million private sector businesses of which 5.94m were small.

Logically, a sizeable number of these firms are family-run and will face challenges over succession. And it is a problem that some in the profession are aware of.

Organisations such as the Hakim Group and Leightons, for example, offer processes where, as part of a succession plan, they either buy out a practice or enter into shared partnerships.

And it is something that Norfolk-based opticians Dipple and Conway has had to grapple with several times. The firm has been trading since 1916 but is on its fourth generation with Matthew Conway, joining the business in 2011 after a career in London. He spent two years on reception at the Swaffham store before taking a more prominent role in the Norwich headquarters. He is business development manager alongside
his cousin, Ben, who is a dispensing

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