Whether you are launching a new business, five years in, or beginning to plan for the transition of ownership to the next generation, taking the time to write a proper business plan is certainly a worthwhile feat. This valued document can help align the expectations of all owners/managers, while also serving as a blueprint for how to run the business and set the pace to achieve its goals.
Compensation is a known contentious issue amongst most business partners, but even more so in a family business. Often, decisions made by parental owners can impact the personal and professional relationships of the next generation.
Ultimately, all businesses need a succession plan. While many owners believe they have one in place, experience would indicate that, unless this is documented and reviewed on a regular basis, it is common to find multiple owners have varying expectations about their operation’s succession plan.
In family businesses, decisions surrounding succession have the potential to create much conflict and animosity if they are not clearly outlined and understood by all. Having a management succession plan in place in the case of death, incapacity, and retirement can very well save both the business and the family. It is worth taking the time to develop one.
Family council meetings are intended to provide a communication forum to keep the broader family informed of what is going on in the business, provide the owners with a forum to promote employment and career opportunities to relatives, promote the succession guiding principles and corresponding business rules, and allow the family to connect or reconnect as a unit.
Business owners have a lot on their plate: they are constantly pulled in a million directions and are often busy putting out the proverbial fires that come with the territory. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons most ignore or put aside succession planning.
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