Florida Mediator Discusses Family-Owned Businesses

Talk to the family, review the enterprise's present and hoped-for future, consult trusted experts to make sure you aren't caught totally off-guard, and groom the next generation.
Shareholder Richard Lord Shareholder Richard Lord


According to a survey conducted by Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services of 222 family-owned businesses with revenues from $50 million to over $1 billion, many lack important elements that may prove critical to their future growth and success.  The survey was focused on learning more about succession planning and governance. Ninety-three percent of respondents were described as senior executives.

Some of the findings were striking. About 28% reported that they do not operate with a board of directors; approximately 49% did not review succession planning until management changes required it; and about 41% had no leadership contingency plans. Owners with an interest in maintaining the benefits of the family business for interested stake-holders and our economy as a whole should, in my opinion, consider a detailed review of their governance and succession planning frameworks.

Planning in times of relative calm can yield the preparation needed to weather the eventual storms. Talk to the family, review the enterprise's present and hoped-for future, consult trusted experts to make sure you aren't caught totally off-guard, and groom the next generation. The old adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" applies to family businesses' health as well as your own.

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