Business Succession Planning

The importance of the family business to the United States economy continues to grow, and in a striking development, family businesses are beginning to reverse the trend of mega-businesses wiping mom-and-pop stores off the map. The recession of 2008 provided the catalyst for laid-off workers to create home-based businesses using the Internet and a low cost website to create and sell products and services.

Family businesses account for a staggering 50 percent of the gross domestic product of the U.S., and it is not just in small storefronts or website businesses: 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are private or public companies that are controlled by families.

Consider the role family businesses play in job creation: family companies are responsible for 60 percent of the jobs in America and nearly 80 percent of new jobs created. But according to a recent PWC survey, only 52 percent of them expect that members of the next generation can do it on their own. Uncertainty about whether junior members will have the aptitude and experience for running a company is the leading concern that family businesses have about keeping management in the hands of one or more family members.

Growth and Sustainability

Family businesses often have intimate histories and complex cultures that are hard for outsiders to understand. Families today are often more complicated and less traditional than they once were.

Family businesses have several other issues that work against the successful continuation of the business. Fortunately, with focus and planning, most of these can be easily overcome by paying attention to the details.

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