According to a survey conducted by The Alternative Board, family businesses are on the whole finding financial success. And most family business owners believe that they will continue to thrive and succeed. But this optimism about the present and the immediate future is tempered by a belief among many owners that their businesses will not be carried on under the control of future generations. In fact, 62 percent of those surveyed harbored such fears.
So why the pessimism? Well, there were a couple of reasons cited. For one thing, only 45 percent of the respondents said that their children played a role in the family business. In other words, there is simply no ground work being done to help the succession process. Equally telling, 26 percent of the respondents were not satisfied with their succession plans and 29 percent actually had no plan whatsoever.
If you are a family business owner who lacks confidence that your business will experience a successful succession, there are some proactive things you can do. For instance, make a concerted effort to get your children involved in your business. And if they show an interest in being a part of your company, give them opportunities to develop leadership skills and learn management principles.
And you also want to develop a strong succession plan. A succession plan can help motivate family members by demonstrating their stake in the business. It can inspire them to be ready to step into your shoes and perpetuate the success your company has enjoyed under your guidance.
An attorney who works with closely held companies can help you create a succession plan that suits your needs and helps ensure that everyone involved in your family business is prepared to take on the challenges ahead.