Business colleagues sitting at a conference table

As you think about your responsibilities, a future retirement and your legacy, you might start to wonder: is the next generation ready to take over the business? We’re here to help you discover some of the signs that the next generation is ready to take charge of your family business and help you enjoy the life you’ve built outside of the office.

They’ve Worked Their Way Up

It’s important for a good leader to understand every aspect of the business. That’s we recommend having your future successor climb the ranks, even if they are a relative, like everyone else. Once he or she has learned the ropes of other positions and earned promotions over the years, then you can think about whether or not being in charge is the next logical role for them within in the company. After all, it’s not fair for someone to go from sales assistant to president of the company. But, if the next generation started as an assistant, worked their way up to associate, then manager, then vice president; president is the next step.

You’ve Mentored Them with Intention

The best way to prepare the next generation to take over the family business is to mentor them for leadership. Over the years, you’ve had the opportunity to build a professional, mentor-mentee relationship with the person you’ve tapped to be your successor. If you have done this and you feel confident that you’ve guided them successfully, it could be time for you to step down and let the next generation fill your shoes (or at least attempt to).

If you’ve carefully guided and mentored the next generation through times of business growth, company challenges and employee strife, they should have the skills to take over the business.

You’re Ready to Scale Back

As important as it is to make sure that the next generation is ready to take over the family business, it is equally important that you’re ready to pass it on. One sign that you’re ready to scale back your business responsibilities could be that you’ve met a lot of your short and long-term goals. If you’ve reached the goalposts that have been motivating you for years, it could be time to think about passing the baton.

For some, scaling back means retiring and trading days in the board room for days on the golf course. For others, it just means handling fewer of the strategic business functions and focusing more on customer relationships or day-to-day management. Maybe you’ve noticed that your employees have started coming to you for approval less and your future successor more. While this can feel like a slight, it’s also a good sign that your business is ready for the next generation to take charge.

If you still have questions about whether or not the next generation is ready to take over the family business, we encourage you to reach out to one of our coaches to help you prepare your business for the future.