Family Business – 3 Succession Planning Secrets

All businesses need to have plans in place for the future. In family businesses, this can be much more challenging, unless care is taken to cover all the bases well in advance.

Where continuity of family ownership is one of the purposes of the business, time needs to be taken to ensure that family succession works.

Whilst there are many actions that can be taken to make sure that the legacy of the family business is maintained, there are three key components to factor in as a matter of course.

Secret 1 – Start Early

Many family businesses are met with challenges that come along unexpectedly. Be they critical factors or not – like the untimely death of a key family member, or where family members seriously disagree – preparation is the key.

By preparing planned courses of action with clear goals and timescales, it can be much less damaging should a crisis occur.

Because of the nature of family business, with generation following generation, preparation for those who will take over eventually can begin quite early on, as long as this is tailored to the ages of those individuals involved.

The best time to start is as soon as possible, before you perceive even the merest hint of issues arising. The worst time is waiting until the last minute.

Secret 2 – Dropping Dead!

Irrespective of the planning you do in the good times, there will always be the need for a process should a key family business member not make it in one day.

It could be a short period where they are ill and there will be the likelihood of return. It could be more serious with an extended period of absence; of it could be the unexpected death of a key figure that throws the business into dangerous territories.

Even with the best long-term succession planning in place, every family business needs to have a process that is clearly understood by all in the senior team should one of them go missing for a while – or longer. It needs to be robust; tested and viable and needs to be well communicated to all stakeholders whether working in the business or not.

In times of stress such like serious illness or even death, the business must go on – and this process needs to be in place well in advance of being required so that the business is not damaged.

Secret 3 – Step Back

Because of the nature of a family business, it can sometimes be difficult to be objective. From entrepreneurs who start a business to generations who take over from parents and even grandparents, they all have emotional ties to what is, quite simply, a business.

It can be difficult to separate the boundaries of what is a good vision for the future of the business if you aren’t able to be very objective indeed, so often there is value in bringing in a specialist to help.

There are many organisations out there who can be constructively supportive, whilst not being afraid to ask the most demanding questions of existing key personnel. Where such specialists add value is with their absolute focus of the right succession plan for the business, not for the emotional ties that so often get in the way.

There are three simple secrets to succession planning success. If a family business is strong enough to address the three issues here, they will be well on the way to ensuring the health of the business well into the next generation.

Find a Home Business Opportunity With No Frivolous Fees

Looking for a home business opportunity that doesn’t charge frivolous fees? You can rest assured that an at-home-business that charges you extra fees doesn’t have to. There are plenty of web based internet marketing programs that do not charge frivolous fees. If you are going to market programs on the web, find one that does not empty your paypal account before you get a chance to start earning profits.

What fees are we talking about here? The first that comes to mind is the monthly fee. If their system is good enough, they should only charge you a one time entry fee, not an extra monthly fee. If every one of their internet home business members pays a monthly fee, what motivation do they have to keep their program current and relevant? If they need a constant flow of new members for profits, they should be more inclined to keep their offering competitive.

The next frivolous fee I have noticed is the regular introduction of expensive offerings by guest speakers after training sessions. While they may be legitimate, it seems as though some programs take advantage of their member audience. Training should be free of fees. If their program is solid, the program owners should pay for the guest speakers out of their own pocket in the interest of expanding their programs. If their guest trainer is that good, their program will naturally expand as a result. The guest trainer fee will be well worth the money and will create a more loyal membership.

Finally, the purveyors of the best home business ideas and programs should charge entry fees that do not hinder the new marketer’s budget for marketing. There are 25 million new home business opportunity seekers searching the web daily. Only about 15%-20% of these searchers can afford more than $400-$500 for an up front fee. If they are tempted by the over zealous profit claims of the big ticket programs requiring more than $500 up front, they are forced into free marketing methods or reduced pay-per-click budgets. It can still be done, but this makes it more difficult to profit from the top tier programs.

In summary, a solid internet marketing program can develop a loyal membership and profit well without charging you every time you turn around. Fair, profitable and worthy programs do exist, you just have to find them.

Hiring Relatives For Your Business – Should You?

Here are some of the pros and cons about adding your relatives to the workforce in your new business:

Members of your family take personal conversations, and business conversations as the same thing – all personally. It is very difficult for family members to separate the two. Emotionality comes into play quite a bit when working with family members that you ask, tell, or suggest to do something.

Workers you hire from your family expect that the work environment will be more relaxed than working for strangers. Some family members will expect special breaks, or a lot of leeway to complete tasks and projects. Can you afford to treat them differently than regular employees you didn’t know before you hired them?

Time off for vacation, sick time, vacations, flex-time, maternity leave, etc – is treated by family as very important and expected. You are part of that family and so you must know how important it is – right? It is best to make this issue very clear from the outset what the policy is – and how many days family members will receive off.

Salary. Regardless of their actual position in the company, family members may believe they should get more pay than others that are doing more than they are – or, in more critical positions. If you succumb to the temptation of doing this for family members, other employees will feel resentment because of it. Makes no difference to them that the person getting paid more is part of your family. There is a general sense of fairness in the workplace that doesn’t get overwritten when family works for family and you’re better off to pay what the person is worth, not more.

What if you are getting pressure from within the family to hire another member of the family? What should you do in that case?

As a business begins it is in a very fragile period where, if things start going wrong, the entire business could go bottoms up. Hiring family employees can be exhausting… no matter how much patience you think you might have. You may start to blame your family workers for not pulling their weight…freeloading! It could turn into a very ugly situation.

I would recommend you not initially hire anyone from your family until the business is firm on its feet and even if something goes wrong, it won’t be catastrophic.

Perhaps the best policy is not to have family members join your business at all if you can help it. It is one that I personally adhere to, and frequently share with other owners of small businesses that are considering what to do.

Instead, have a clear policy of choosing employees only based on what they can add to your business. Business startup is a crucial time where success or failure is often just a few days away. Why not eliminate this one issue by not hiring family? I think it would be a very wise choice in most cases.

These are a few of the issues that invariably raise their ugly head when family members are hired into your new business. Can you handle the extra emotional issues? The resentment from other employees? The sometimes bad attitudes?

These are things you need to seriously consider right now before you hire them because after you hire them, can you fire them?