Be aware of what legacy you’re leaving to the next generation
Family businesses, especially second-generation businesses, often have a whole range of unique challenges at the time of succession.
So often businesses are founded by a technician, someone who had a job working for someone else.
There are many reasons to start a business. Most commonly they are:-
- Redundancy and need to pay the bills.
- Idea that they can do it better.
- Make more money working for themselves.
- Want more freedom to do what they want.
- No other person would want to employ them
The business soon becomes a continuation of their previous job. In the early days it is all about working hard and working long hours. It works but rather than wanting to build a business the focus becomes doing the job.
The years go by, years of hard work and long hours, missing the children growing up. But that is what being a business owner is all about!
With their pension and future income tied up in the business the founders need someone to take over the business to maintain their lifestyle.
Who better than the children? You can trust family. After all it is their inheritance.
The children realise that they are expected to join the family business. With their future mapped out and no real choice, they believe they don’t really need to try at school. Their fate is set.
The children take up their places in the business and they take over the family job. Falling into the work hard and long hours ethos because that is what is expected of a business owner.
Unfortunately, they are going to have an additional burden once they have mastered the job – their parents pension and future income.
The children have inherited THE POISON CHALICE. Years of hard labour leading to frustration and broken dreams.
But there is a different way.
It’s the founder finishing the business, setting out the stall to go to the next level and then handing over a balanced business. It’s about passing on the understanding of how to successfully build and maintain a growing business to the next generation.
Remember succession is a process not an event.
Now that is a true INHERITANCE.
About Ray Moore
Ray Moore is the founder of Fluid Business Coaching and author of the successful book series, The Levels. He has helped over 100 business owners create sustainable growth during 10 years of business coaching, so far. Ray's main passion lies within family business owners, having worked with them for many years to resolve conflict, manage family employees and succession planning.
This blog is based on strategies found in The Levels: Can Your Business Step Up to the Growth Challenge? written by Ray Moore