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A skilled facilitator with a deep understanding of the dynamics of the family business can help you avoid the assumptions and miscommunications that can threaten family harmony and the long-term viability of your business.
Typically, family business owners consult with a variety of professionals in developing their succession plans — lawyers, accountants, bankers, financial planners, insurance advisors, merger and acquisition consultants and management consultants.
Too often, these professionals find it difficult to proceed because their client has yet to make a number of personal and family decisions that will drive the planning process.
Perhaps the most important element of a succession plan is identifying the candidate that will be groomed to take over the business.
Depending on the size and structure of the business, there may be several candidates who are groomed for the task.
Using words like "process” and "step” implies a prescribed order for your investigations.
In fact, any of a number of situations can bring you to succession planning, so you can enter the process at any "step” along the way.For instance, the plan for retirement may be to pass the business down to a child or grandchild.However, until that person is of legal age and possesses the business knowledge necessary, it may include grooming a more experienced person within the business to manage it in the meantime.The successor should have a written plan that can be followed and should know the milestones upon which they will be evaluated.Open communication within succession planning is important to the success of the task.Leigh Anthony has provided ghostwritten content for a variety of small-business sites since 2004. Her areas of expertise include marketing, human resources, finance and leadership.She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia.The small business owner should also consider salary and benefit increases when the grooming begins that includes increases as more responsibility is gained within the organization.Partial ownership can also be transferred at certain times as objectives are reached if the small business owner desires.We believe the true starting point should be your needs and those of your spouse.When you have a clear idea of what you want, then it makes sense to broaden the discussion out to include the desires of the rest of your family.