If you own a family business, you are likely thinking a lot about what comes next. You might be concerned about whether you are ready to transition in the first place, or thinking about how best to protect your revenue streams before you go.
But if you are counting on an intergenerational transfer, have you ever actually stopped to assess what the next generation might be thinking? Have you discussed their understanding of the business, and their concerns, expectations, and desires for the future?
All family businesses have their own unique system, and although all members of the family are connected, they are all individuals in their own right. As such, each family system needs to be understood in its own way to work out what particular issues need to be addressed in each succession.
In this episode we are joined once again by Therese Barry, Strategic Consultant and Psychologist, who discusses intergenerational succession from the perspective of the next generation; looking at common issues in family owned businesses such as:
- Does the current generation ever really think the next generation are ready to take over the family business?
- How does the next generation say no if they don’t want to take over the business?
- How do children open the lines of communication with their parents about their feelings towards working long hours with little reward – are the children earning comparable market salaries for their time and commitment to the business, or is their commitment an expectation based on the familial relationship?
In addressing these concerns, Therese discusses the importance of understanding your own family system, being respectful of each other’s needs, and having sufficient management structures in place – to ensure everyone is comfortable with the outcome, and a successful transition can be achieved for everyone involved.
*Please note that any strategies discussed by Martin and Ed are general in nature and do not take into consideration any of your personal circumstances. You must seek individually tailored advice to ensure you properly address any issues you may have around your business.