It is the dream of many business owners to pass their professional legacy down to younger family members. But only about 30% of family businesses make it to the next generation – and that number shrinks to 13% by the third generation. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to give your children the skills they need to take over the family business.
Teach Them the Ropes… Starting at the Bottom
As satisfying as it is to have your children follow in your business footsteps, you don’t just want them to take over the family business – you want them to lead it successfully. To be effective leaders, your children need to understand every facet of the business. And that means starting from the bottom. It can be tempting to give your kids a leg up, so to speak. But if you give them a top seat from the beginning, you are setting them up for failure because they won’t have the fundamental understanding they need to make sound decisions.
Starting from the bottom of the business will enable and empower your children to learn the fundamental skills that the business requires, and then build upon them. A solid foundation is crucial. Plus, many family businesses also have non-family employees and they are more likely to respect your kids if they know your kids actually started at the bottom and earned any upward mobility.
Hire Them When They’re Young
In order for them to be prepared to take on leadership by the time you’re ready to retire, and for them to have the time and opportunity to work their way up from the bottom, your kids should start their involvement with the business while they’re young.
Depending on the nature of your business, this could look like your kids having their first job answering phones at the front desk after school. Or, if you require entry-level employees to have a college degree, your company can your kid’s first position once they’ve earned a business degree.
Find Out What They Care About
As the person who built this family business, it can be tempting for you to urge your children to do everything exactly the way you have done it. But, if you want to enable your kids to be confident and capable leaders, they have to figure out what routines and processes work for them – and what aspects of the business motivate them.
By fostering your kids’ individual interests, you will encourage them to find meaning and purpose within the business. And that level of investment and passion will help them lead the organization resolutely – when their time comes, of course.
Teach Your Kids to Lead the Family Business
You have the power to disprove the statistics and leave a multi-generational legacy by having your kids work their way up from the bottom, hiring them when they’re young and nurturing their individual interests. To learn other strategies for ensuring the multi-generational success of your family business, contact AdviCoach today.