Transitioning the Family Business

For a successful transition, one of the critical pieces is giving voice to the concerns of those involved. There are many options in transitioning a business, ranging from a sale of the business to non-family, to gifting some or all of the business to family. To successfully navigate the transition, family leaders must work hard to preserve family relations, family culture, and viewing this as a journey and not a single event.

The decision process for the transition, requires consideration of several key areas:

  1. Interest of the next generation: What is the true desire of the next generation? Do they want to lead the family business?
  2. Skill set of the next generation: If the next generation has an interest and desire to keep the business in the family, what do they need to learn? How will they develop as leaders, and who will hold them accountable?
  3. Future Vision: What systems, processes, or procedures will be put in place to maintain the long-term success of the business and family? What communication guidelines will be agreed to by all family members to ensure all understand the objectives?
  4. Ownership Structure: What is the best structure for the estate planning of the senior generation? How will the next generation navigate the ownership responsibilities?

After building the business, transitioning the family business is the next most significant work. The complexities of decision making to sell, to hold, to transition could be fraught with strife. If done well, through proper planning and open honest communication, the transition has the potential to unite the family and create a collaborative relationship between the generations.

OUR SERVICES

  • We guide successful family businesses to clearly define a timeline, expectations,  who is responsible for what, and who is responsible for sustaining the family business and the family legacy with accountability.
  • Take the guess-work out of creating an advisory board.  Forget the countless hours trying in vain to identify (and then recruit and then figure out how to pay) the right board members.  We will provide the structure and the professionals for a focused, effective advisory board, and we implement the process for you.
  • We support family businesses to help build and maintain a robust entrepreneurial climate with both family and non-family.
  • We take a holistice approach with Family Businesses helping them understand they are more than the sum of their parts, and they exhibit unique behavior as a whole rather than the singular behavior of the Family system, the Business system, and the Ownership system.
  • Family dynamics are complex and there is no one size fits all solution. Our facilitation helps build appropriate structures and guidelines that provide platforms to facilitate transparent dialogue and sustainability of the family business.
  • Building a Family Legacy requires developing the rising generation. Our coaching process helps the next generation understand themselves, family dynamics, business knowledge, and foundational leadership.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs

Our process creates a road to travel that is safe, allows the freedom to openly discuss where the family is going and how they plan to get there. With the commitment to the process there is built in accountability to keep everyone focused and on track.

If a business family could work through the difficult questions and develop clear answers that all could agree to, understand, and continually communicate, they would see the health of their family and business grow exponentially.

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. How do we behave?
  3. What do we do?
  4. How will we succeed?
  5. What is most important right now?
  6. Who must do what?

SKM Associates

SKM Associates Family Business Consultants exists to serve and assist family businesses as they build and preserve their family legacies.  We work with family enterprises and closely held businesses on issues such as succession planning, communication, board and family business structure development, family meetings, professional coaching and development, education, and business strategy.

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