A family walking towards the sunset!

Turning juniors into seniors - successful business succes­si­on starts early!

If you want to be a good entre­pre­neur, practi­ce early - The “seniors” should plan the hando­ver of their life’s work at an early stage. Successful business succes­si­on starts early!

6 steps to successful business succes­si­on in the family: 

How do I turn my juniors into successful seniors so that my life’s work can be successful­ly transferred?

1. give a stable smell

You should ensure early on that your child­ren occasio­nal­ly get a whiff of the stable. This can actual­ly be achie­ved quite infor­mal­ly by taking the child­ren into the compa­ny from time to time, showing them the diffe­rent areas of the compa­ny and simply ‘letting them explore’.

Later, when they are older, there is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­du­ce the child­ren to the compa­ny through holiday jobs. This is the begin­ning of a good prepa­ra­ti­on on the way to turning the juniors into seniors.

2. provi­de first-class training

Ideal­ly, of course, with a focus of study that is also reflec­ted in the company’s purpo­se. It can make sense to study at a very practi­ce-orien­ted priva­te univer­si­ty with exper­ti­se abroad.

Before you plan to bequeath anything to your child­ren, better treat them to the best educa­ti­on. It doesn’t always have to be a priva­te univer­si­ty, good public univer­si­ties are also suita­ble for the further educa­ti­on of juniors. However, you should always plan a stay abroad, even if it is not parti­cu­lar­ly relevant for your own compa­ny at the moment. The world is changing, and faster than we think. In additi­on, a stay abroad shapes you, foreign cultures sharpen your percep­ti­on, streng­then your self-confi­dence and promo­te your language skills. 

3. “Chasing the child­ren off the farm”.

That means giving them the oppor­tu­ni­ty to develop freely after gradua­ti­on, to decide for themsel­ves who they want to work for and where. Of course, the best thing is if your child­ren can go to direct compe­ti­tors. But that will rarely happen. But perhaps there are associa­ti­on colle­agues, suppli­ers or even custo­mers from whom you can pick up a lot of knowledge for your own business.

4 “Making your own business sexy

Are you afraid that your child­ren will be spoilt by the lure of the big wide world after study­ing and taking their first steps on foreign soil? Then make sure in good time that your compa­ny offers a perspec­ti­ve that is so interes­t­ing that your child­ren will want to come back.

Your offspring will appear with a comple­te­ly diffe­rent self-confi­dence if he/she has been able to gain manage­ment experi­ence in other compa­nies. The accep­tance of your employees is also likely to be signi­fi­cant­ly higher if word gets around about where and with what respon­si­bi­li­ty your child­ren have alrea­dy been active. Other­wi­se, theory and practi­ce will quick­ly colli­de. This will always happen if you bring your child­ren direct­ly from univer­si­ty into your own company.

5. smooth the transition

Think about concre­te areas of respon­si­bi­li­ty that you want to entrust to your child­ren without really inter­fe­ring and getting invol­ved in the day-to-day business.

Allow mista­kes if they are not repea­ted and it is not too expensive.

Disci­pli­ne yours­elf by agree­ing on fixed commu­ni­ca­ti­on struc­tures and binding work routi­nes with your child­ren. Even if it is diffi­cult, stick to it so that the second planned jour fixe is not cancel­led becau­se of you.

Gradu­al­ly hand over more respon­si­bi­li­ty. Let go and extend the leash. Your child­ren should also be advised to demand sometimes.

6. formu­la­te a clear road map and adhere to it in a binding manner

Agree with your juniors when they will be given speci­fic respon­si­bi­li­ties. (Which divisi­ons / which powers of attor­ney ? procu­ra­ti­on etc…)

Deter­mi­ne when the juniors will follow in your footsteps.

If neces­sa­ry, set up an adviso­ry board and appoint an exter­nal chair­per­son. This will ease the tensi­on in dealing with each other and lead to the desired success more quickly.

Final­ly, a tip for successful business succession: 

And last but not least, a note from a tax/legal point of view: As a rule, not all child­ren can / want to be active in the compa­ny. Think early on how you want to deal with the child­ren who will not be actively invol­ved in the business. Should they be invol­ved? How should they be treated fairly compared to a share­hol­ding in the company?

The right thing for everyo­ne is often better than the same thing for everyo­ne”..

Also think about compul­so­ry share waiver agree­ments concer­ning the compa­ny assets so that they are not endan­ge­red by unexpec­ted, unplan­ned inheri­tance claims ? often trigge­red by children-in-law.

Image: canva.com

TIPS for further reading: 

Business sale consul­ting: To make the sale of your business a success. 

The compa­ny sale check­list: These are the points you should consider as a seller

Calcu­la­ting the compa­ny value: It’s that easy

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