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How to manage handing your business over to family members

If small businesses are the backbone of the economy, then family-owned businesses are the marrow, the core, of that backbone. There are three million family-owned firms in the UK. These firms employ over nine million people and make up 40% of private sector employment.

In at least 50% of the succession planning cases that we deal with at Kirkpatrick & Hopes, the intended future owners are family members. Usually, these family members already work in the business and are natural choices to take over when the business owner wants to retire or take a back seat. In some cases, however, they are brought in specifically to facilitate the succession planning, and therefore need to be groomed into a management and leadership role.

Failing to properly prepare your successor – and the rest of your staff – is a recipe for disaster. There are some practical steps you can take to ensure your family member is in the best possible position to take over.

Have the discussions about joining and/or taking over the family business as early as possible
This gives the family member the opportunity to seek the necessary education and experience that they’ll need to succeed in the role. Parents tend to assume that their kids will automatically want to join the company. However, for younger offspring, higher education, travel or another industry altogether may be much more appealing.

To read the rest of this blog, which is based on an extract of Andrew Gray’s book Do More of What You Love: The New Approach to Business Succession Planning –  go to here

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