Family business succession planning can be a challenging process for any owner that wants to leave a legacy. The owner has worked long and hard to accumulate the wealth they have and they want to see that legacy carried into the next generation.
That was the reason they started the company in the first place. They had a tremendous love for their family and wanted to see it taken care of. That meant long hours and frequent time away. Away from the very family they were looking to take care of.
Owning and operating a business also required a deep seeded drive and desire to succeed. Furthermore, it required a passion for that industry. That’s the only thing that could have sustained the owner during the rough patches that come in running a firm.
That drive and that passion are unique to that owner however. It was their passion, their drive, their understanding of the business that made it successful. But as different as we are by fingerprint, the same holds true for the heirs of a business. In about one third of the cases, children will take over the operations of a business when the founder is no longer running it.
Because of this, succession planning presents a challenge for business owners. Simply put, their children may not be as passionate about the business as they are. In many cases it is a generational difference that causes this. However and in most cases, it’s simply they have other interests they want to purse. And not only are they different then the parent, but they may not be as intense. Heirs may want to work for another company, charity or organization.
So if you’re a parent that also owns a business, try to keep in mind that your child may not have the same desire to be a titan of your industry and master of the universe. They may simply want to pursue their own unique passion.