With your business, passing it down in the family has always been your plan. You built this for them. You want to do more than just provide for them when they're young. You want to give them a way to earn and find financial security for the rest of their lives.
Now, you cannot force them to want this, as well. They may decide they want to take a different path in life. But you can still give them the tools for success and help them work toward that goal.
What can you do to spark your children's interest and teach them about the company so that they're ready to run it? How can you make this transition go smoothly?
The key is to get them involved early. Even if you just have young children, you can let them come by the office. Give them some small tasks to do -- it could be something as simple as going to get pens and paper from the supply closet -- and let them meet people. Most of all, just let them see how the company runs and make them feel comfortable.
The reason many children are intimidated to take over the family business is not that they can't do it. They're intelligent and successful. They can do it. It just feels overwhelming because they're stepping into the business very suddenly. If you make them feel comfortable early so that it seems normal, you help them tremendously.
As you prepare to pass your business on, make sure you also know about all of the steps you'll need to take during this complex legal process.