Small Business Succession Planning in Southern Minnesota

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Undergraduate Research Symposium




Mankato, MN

Publication Date



The purpose of this research project was to look at succession planning in businesses in southern Minnesota. Through the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), businesses have received funds to help develop succession plans. We followed up with businesses that have received funds from SMIF to see if a) They have made any changes in their business practices in regards to succession planning, and b) How the funds were used and how they helped. We utilized Survey Monkey to collect our information. The survey was designed to determine the presence of defined goals regarding succession planning, the successes and challenges encountered when succession planning, and the possibility of generational transition for the family businesses. Twenty-one business owners responded to the survey, and the results show that there is a general agreement about a lack of succession planning in their companies. At the same time, the majority of owners emphasized that succession planning is very important for their businesses. SMIF had also provided the businesses information regarding several specific topics related to succession planning, and businesses as a whole found this information helpful in moving forward with their plans. We will use this data to better understand the successes and challenges of local businesses when engaging in succession planning, and we hope to find that the funds provided by SMIF have helped businesses in their overall succession planning. We will also develop and present a general framework for businesses to use in succession planning.

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