Family Succession Plan

Then the succession plan for the family's business

The family succession plan should recognize and accommodate the needs, goals and objectives of each family member. "The family's goals and objectives then become the basic building blocks for the development of the succession plan for the family's business," according to top family business expert Don Schwerzler "It is extremely important to first develop the family succession plan and then the succession plan for the family's business. Otherwise the business owner will spend a lot of time and money developing a business transition plan that will almost always fail to reach the desired results."

Schwerzler has been studying and advising family business entrepreneurs for more than 40 years and he is the founder of the Family Business Institute.

Sometimes the failure of the flawed succession planning process is recognized only after the death of the parents when the "plan" is sprung on the family during the reading of the will - and the legacy the parents were trying to create for their children and grandchildren is destroyed because of greed, misunderstandings and the lack of involvement in the family succession planning process. The family succession plan

  • should include strategies to put the business interests ahead of the family interests
  • should emphasize merit over family position

Family-first Business or Business-first Family?

Another important issue that needs to be determined prior to beginning the family succession plan: is yours a family- first business or a business-first family? The answer will significantly impact the succession planning process.

Consider the multitude of personal sacrifices the business founder made in order to create a successful business. Sacrifices that included 70 to 80 hour work weeks, no weekends, missed little league games, school and community service functions - a business-first family. The second generation now says, "I want to be more involved with my family. I want to belong to the golf club and be a little league coach which means I have to leave the office by 4 o'clock. And by the way, my wife doesn't want me to work on Saturdays anymore!' This is an example of a family-first business.

It is not necessary to calculate this with mathematical precision, but we have developed an excellent survey that helps you, your family and your advisors focus on this critical question.

Family Business Succession Planning Survey with No-cost feedback

Our survey and Don Schwerzler's no-cost feedback has another very beneficial use for a family and the family business - the family can focus on the specific areas that show weakness and make these the basis for improvement.

Succession Management

The single best succession management strategy is to create an advisory board. Learn why,and how in this interview with our succession management expert.

Managing the Succession Process

Our succession management process is gaining international recognition. Learn why as we describe it from the most important perspective - the clients.

Succession - Whose Job is It?

Managing the succession process can be a great strategy for the Nexters!

Family Business Valuation

Business valuation is important to the family succession plan. It should be a part of the regular annual strategic planning process not something triggered by a specific event.

Contingency Plan - for an Uncertain Future

A contingency plan uses strategies required to cover the death or incapacitation of key family managers.

Succession Planning has Changed

A contingency plan uses strategies required to cover the death or incapacitation of key family managers.

Planning Obstacles in Family Businesses

Sometimes, the best way to look at a problem is to identify the obstacles to solving that problem. Just like a physical obstacle course, succession planning for family businesses is like an obstacle course. You have to find the obstacles, then overcome them... fly over them, dig under them, outflank them to move around them. And it is often the ones that you didn't see that cause you the biggest problems!

Family Wealth Management

Family wealth management is critically important - family-owned businesses are the economic engines that drive America’s prosperity. But, it's about a lot more than just money.

Family Business Strategic Planning

Family Business Strategic Planning is key to successfully transitioning the family business to the next generation.

Every Family's Business

Thomas Deans has written a very interesting book, Every Family's Business, that poses 12 questions every business owner should consider. Learn why SELLING the family business could be the best strategy to create and preserve family wealth.

Tactical Hints for Generational Transition

Here are a few practical hints that we've found to be useful as a family business transitions from one generation to the next. A few might really surprise you!

Succession: 3 Ways to Ease the Transition

For family owned businesses, planning how to leave your business to the next generation can be the most difficult task of all. Generally the process occurs only once in a lifetime and without a significant investment in planning, the succession process can cause havoc in the business and family.

Exit Planning

Exit planning is necessary because you will transfer your business interest - either during your lifetime, or you will die or become incapacitated. Learn how to avoid the chaos of forced liquidation.

Shareholder Agreement

The shareholder agreement is an essential estate planning tool. Discover why it's needed and some of the problem situations it can help solve.

Buy-Sell Agreement

The buy-sell agreement is a specialized form of shareholder agreement that deals with ownership transfers.


Need Help?

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Chaos Busters - The Management Guide

Identifies 160 Key Business Questions

  • 160 Key Business Questions will stimulate creativity and innovation for your entire management team!

  • 160 Key Business Questions are the keys to unlock the hidden potential of your organization!

  • 160 Key Business Questions will save you time and make your work more effective!

  • 160 Key Business Questions is a Multi-purpose tool with unlimited applications!

How Well Organized is YOUR Organization?

Your Business Will Succeed...


You have The Roadmap for Success

That's What

The Practitioner's Guide for Organizing an Organization
Is All About

  • PGOO shows how to identify the most pressing problems to solve
  • PGOO introduces the ODS-OL (Organizational Diagnostic Survey –Online) - an electronic assessment tool that is highly effective, easy to use, systematic and data-based
  • PGOO explains how to produce a better-organized organization

Family Business Experts Understands
Family Values and Business Systems

The succession plan for the "family" drives the succession plan for the family's business.
Contact Family Business Experts for help with all aspects of your family succession plan.

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