MorePeople founder and director Guy Moreton told the British Protected Ornamentals Association’s Growers Look Ahead conference that few nursery businesses have succession plans in place.
Growers intending to pass the business on should draw up a plan of how they want the business to develop.
"A plan should say where you are now and where you want to be," he said. "It needs to have an element of reality and needs to have timelines."
He added that staff appraisals are essential. "You need to make appraisals of team members in the current role. Most people don’t have a job description for the jobs people are doing now. How can you appraise them? You have to do that for every role in your business."
Moreton suggested drawing up "people plans" to outline all the current roles across the business. He added that although it is a difficult decision to make, owners should sell their businesses rather than passing them on to an unsuitable successor.
"Family businesses are all about now and I love their flexibility," he said. "Succes-sion planning doesn’t always work as well because they are not corporate. You need a balance. Family members have to earn the right to take on roles."