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Why Your Family Business Must Have a Succession Plan

February 08, 2012

Start the planning process for your family business today.

The 60 year old son in a family business walks into his 90 year old father’s office on a Friday afternoon. The conversation is as follows:

Son: Dad, I came in here to tell you that my wife and I are retiring and moving to Florida.

Father: What do you mean? Don’t you know that the business will be yours someday when I retire?

Twenty years ago this conversation might have seemed ludicrous. Today, however, people are healthier and more active than they ever have been. Many successful entrepreneurs cringe at the thought of leaving their businesses at age 65 faced with the prospect of another 25 years of life “doing nothing.”

For a family business to endure past the first or second generation, a succession plan must be put into place that clearly defines the transition of power from one generation to the next. The most successful multi-generational family businesses had a plan. They did not make it by accident. Succession planning is a process that takes many years to accomplish. It is never too early to start. It involves a plan for the business, a plan for the retiring family member, and a plan for the successor.

Do not be in a position of having your children retire before you! Questions? Contact me and stay tuned for my next blog in my family business series “Does your family business need an outside board of directors?”

Peri Ann Aptaker is the chair of the KLR Women CPA’s Business Exchange. This Exchange reinforces the firm’s ongoing strategy to retain the best and brightest talent in the industry. The KLR Women CPA’s Business Exchange fosters connecting women CPA’s with other successful women business leaders. Visit our website to learn more about the KLR Women’s Business Exchange or check out our group page on LinkedIn where you can stay up to date on the latest WBE news, events and information.

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