For most family and closely held businesses, planning for succession is the toughest and most critical challenge they face. Yet succession planning can also be a great opportunity to maximize opportunities and create a multi-generational institution that embodies the family’s values and mission for generations to come.
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The Family Business Institute assists family owned businesses in multi-generational planning by helping them address issues related to not only the ownership succession but also management succession planning and leadership development as well.
88% of current family business owners believe the same family or families will control their business in five years, but succession statistics undermine this belief. According to The Family Firm Institute, only about 30% of family and businesses survive into the second generation, 12% are still viable into the third generation, and only about 3% of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation or beyond. There is a disconnect between the optimistic belief of today’s family business owners and the reality of the massive failure of family companies to survive through the generations. Research indicates that failures can essentially be traced to one factor: an unfortunate lack of family business succession planning.
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+ Management Succession Planning
Management succession planning in the family company requires focus on the four key departments present in any business of any size: administration and finance, operations and customer fulfillment, sales, and marketing. When we think of management succession planning, we’re not talking about who will own shares or assets in the future; we’re talking about who’s going to do the dirty, thankless, and countless tasks which make the family business an asset worth preserving in the first place.
+ Ownership Succession Planning
The current state of ownership succession planning among family businesses is decidedly mixed. About two-thirds of family business owners report a good understanding of the amount of estate taxes due upon their deaths, but about one in five have no estate planning at all! Over one-third of junior generation family business members have no knowledge of the senior generation’s transfer plans! Ownership succession planning issues that seem to be the most common areas of contention or omission in family business succession planning are: 1) Technical mistakes, 2) Planning in a vacuum, 3) Leaving the business to the surviving spouse, and 4) The challenge of treating children equitably
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