Apparently not, says Tom Deans, a former business owner who has been president of a large family business for almost a decade. Only a third of family businesses (90% of businesses today are family owned) succeed in passing along a business to the next generation and continue to build wealth. Why? It’s an emotional issue. If you’ve received the gift of a business, its very hard to sell it. Secondly, the responsibility of continuing the notion that they must leave a legacy makes wealth extraction very difficult. Thirdly, sons and daughters may lack the skill sets, the passion, and interest to effectively operate the business.
What’s the best solution? Sell the business, don’t gift it. Give money, not a business. The company should be valued at a fair price and if the next generation wants to buy in, then that is a more successful transaction, says Tom Deans. Read more from his book “Every Family’s Business” to understand how to communicate succession planning issues amongst family members.