Conventional wisdom says that business succession planning should start with bringing a child into your company and working alongside them. This gives them first-hand experience and you can actively teach them how to run the business well, rather than just leaving it to them when you pass away or retire.
This is a good way to do things, but remember that it may not go as smoothly as you hope. This move can be difficult for the children and they may face some hurdles.
For example, one young woman said that she worried about backlash from other employees who would not feel like she really earned her job or her authority. She even looked into other employment options. In the end, while she did take a job at her father's company, she started lower on the ladder and worked her way up.
She also noted that just working for her father was interesting. He was a hard taskmaster and a strict boss. It was why his company had done so well, but she had to remember that he would treat her the same way -- not like his daughter. At the same time, she had to remind herself not to take anything for granted and to get results every day. She could never assume he would respect her or listen to her just because they were related.
This dynamic is harder for some family members than others. It can be tough to balance work life and family life as these relationships shift and change.
As you and your family start working toward this goal of passing on your company, be sure you know what legal options you have.