Running a Family Business: The Possible Scenarios to Prepare for


If you are running a business, you might start thinking about what will happen to your venture once you retire. It might be far from your current situation, but you may want to start making plans for the future of the company you worked hard to build. During your planning, you might stumble around the thought of turning it into a family business. Your partner or kids might also be passionate about the venture, assuring you that it will be in good hands when you retire.

However, you will encounter a few scenarios that could present a unique challenge to your family business. It is crucial to make preparations for something as significant as your venture, especially when you face these situations.

The Successor Might Not be Into It

If you want to run a family business, you will have to make sure that you train and educate your child to become an ideal leader. While growing up, the kid needs to learn more about the operations and responsibilities inside the business. The process will prepare him or her for the job in line for the future. You will have to start by teaching your kid what is happening from start to finish, which will help him or her grasp how the venture operates and succeeds.

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However, you will find that he or she might develop other interests besides the family business. Despite naming your child as the successor of your venture, he or she might give it up in the future. Selling everything you worked hard for is a worse scenario. Avoid forcing the business on someone who is not passionate about it, even if he or she is a loved one. Fortunately, someone else within your clan might feel interested in taking over the reins, which can help keep the business within the family.

A Battle Between Two or More Successors

While finding a successor within your family is already a challenging scenario, getting two can make things even worse. Since setting an heir to your business is not something urgent, you might consider training two or more of your kids for the leadership position. However, you will find that they will be battling for their respective rights to run the company when you start to approach retirement.

The family business could end up creating competitive and destructive relationships between siblings, which is why you have to be clear with your plans. The unspoken rule is to have the oldest child run the company. However, your judgment on your children’s leadership and work skills will help you determine who can take your place, even if it puts the firstborn in a problematic situation.

Fortunately, you can ensure the other successor’s position within the company. While it is okay to create a competitive atmosphere between your kids, you have to make sure that you raise them to trust and love each other for the sake of the family.

Divorce Might Mess Up the Plan

The problem with a family business is that it combines two elements that are often not suitable for each other. You and your partner might come up with the venture together, which means that you both share equal rights as owners. However, it becomes an asset that both parties need to settle during a divorce. During the heart-breaking process, you will find that none of you want to let go of the profitable venture. A lot of married couples running a business fail to come up with solutions for the scenario, making the company suffer.

You can also seek help from a divorce law firm if you want to take the venture from your partner. If you are looking to anticipate the situation, both parties need to agree on terms in a written and legalized form. Divorces are already messy events with life-changing consequences, and the family business could make things worse.

A Successor from Outside of the Family

Despite your efforts to raise your kids to become the successors of your business, you might notice that they are not fit for the position. They might still be young during your retirement or lack the necessary experience to take over the company.

Fortunately, you can find a temporary successor within your business. You can convince one of your most trusted employees to handle the reins until the successor is ready for the job. You will feel more confident knowing that your venture is in good hands, even if it takes a few years before you can turn it back into a family business.

Running a family business means that you have to commit to teaching your kids about your venture. Your efforts can lead to success, but you have to make sure that you have a solution for every scenario that might come your way.

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