Family Business Succession Planning
Preserve family unity with thoughtful discussions that reveal a shared vision.
You’ve built something special that has sustained your family and others for years, perhaps decades. Now, the discipline you used to grow your business is needed to plan for its future.
What is succession planning?
Succession planning is a process occurring over time in which a family plans for the transfer of knowledge, skills, labour, management, control and ownership of their family business between generations. Sometimes this is from the founding generation to the second generation, or it can occur between successive generations. It involves the creation, preservation, and ultimately, the transfer of the business assets in order to achieve personal, family, and business goals.
Each family business is unique and no single approach works for everyone. It is important to understand that the family business (and its succession plan) involves important relationships within the family and also those who make decisions affecting the business.
Why put time into succession planning?
Compromised profits, missed business opportunities, and risk of insolvency aside, the primary threat to not planning for your business’s succession is the destruction of relationships between family members.
With thoughtful and collaborative decision-making and planning, you will protect your most important relationships and can focus on the needs of your family and your business.
With the luxury of forward-thinking planning and due consultation with others, your business will also reap rewards. You will achieve the tax benefits that come with long term planning and should your business not transition to a family member, you will have the necessary time to reconfigure your business to maximize its value for sale.
Without an articulated vision for your business, it will suffer a loss of opportunity and likely profits. It is this vision that enables a business to continue to be viable and operate for the long run, even if you are not able to run it yourself.
Transitions take time and patience and allow for the necessary training and skills of others to take effect.
Your legacy took time to create. Now take the same care to protect its future.
Our formula for success
We’ve been guiding family businesses for decades and one thing is clear – no family is the same and no family will take the same route to success. Much like your business, your plan for the future will take its own course, but with us, you’ll have experienced help to keep on track and focused on the outcome.
We’re also sensitive to the various roles of different family members and the occasional “generational divide”. Your facilitator must be skilled in listening, moderating and bringing people together in a productive manner.
With us, we’ll guide you and your family through a series of steps. These elements can often be taken out of sequence though, depending on the circumstances of the business.
It helps to organize the process into these major steps:
- Open the lines of communication
- Define the goals and objectives
- Identify the Successor(s)
- Assess the compatibility of Successor(s) goals and objectives
Step 1: Collect and analyze information
- Perform interviews
- Set appropriate milestones
Step 2: Generate options
Step 3: Make preliminary decisions
Step 4: Design, develop, write and review the plan
Step 5: Implement and monitor
These steps are not necessarily in a set order. Some parts must be done one after another, but others can be done at the same time and still others can be completed in a random order.
The same outcome is achieved and we work with you in a manner that is most conducive for your business and family.
Here’s more detail on our process: Step-by-Step Approach
Who in the family should start the discussion?
Any family stakeholder can initiate the discussion towards the future well-being and planning of the business. Every family is different, but any member of a family can start the discussion.
Ideally, the dialogue is held with all interested individuals, and we can help facilitate these discussions or support you in your approach towards discovering the future possibilities for your business. Most families find a qualified third-party to help gently guide these discussions is helpful, if not necessary in many cases.
Our assurance to referral sources
We regularly receive referrals from other professionals to help their family business clients with their planning.
If you are a new potential referral source, allow us an opportunity to assure you that we will limit our services to succession planning. Call or e-mail us to discuss this further or ask us for a guarantee in writing.
Our interest is in seeing family businesses work through a practical, yet tailored succession plan that fits right for them.