While thinking about business succession planning, you have probably come across some rather daunting statistics. For instance, a massive 70% of family businesses do not make it to the next generation. About 88% fail by the third and 97% fail by the fourth.
Obviously, your goal is to stay out of these statistics. For your family, you want the company to last. What can you do?
First off, children should ideally start the process early. You want them to know as much as they can about the company before taking over. Don't assume that they do. Get them involved and work with them for years to develop them.
At the same time, make sure that the business does not dominate family life. You still need to have balance. You don't want to get burned out or push your children into seeing the business as a negative part of their lives.
You also want to talk about how you do things -- your management style -- and listen to their feedback. What traits do you share? How are you different? Do you need to specifically plan for that change?
For the children, the biggest thing they can do is agree to learn. This takes some amount of humility. It can be tricky with a family-owned business. Both you and they need to have the right mindset so that you can work together and do what it takes to set up that positive future.
These tips can help you work to keep your company in the success column, but make sure you also know what legal steps you'll need to take to set up a succession plan.