If only my last name was
A Family AffairBobby Knell, president of
1. Don't push it.Gene Fairbrother, the lead small-business consultant for NASE, has consulted with tens of thousands of businesses. He often sees parents pushing their businesses onto the next generation despite resistance or lack of interest. When the next generation doesn't care about the inherited business, however, they may put it up for sale, run it into the ground or create a negative atmosphere, which is bad for the whole operation, he points out.
2. Make them leave the nest.No matter what the business, says Fairbrother, real-world experience is essential. He suggests college graduates go to work at another company or in another city for at least a year before starting at the family business. "
3. Withhold handouts.Fairbrother recommends developing a structured transition plan to bring the next generation up through the ranks instead of handing them control. "
4. Combat sibling rivalry.Problems may arise, says Stanasolovich, when one child decides to work in the business but those opting out still want a piece of the assets. Parents can resolve this by giving the noninvolved children more passive forms of ownership, such as a limited partnership or nonvoting stock.