Issues around succession planning make up four of the top ten worries keeping family business owners awake at night, according to new research.
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The survey from Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM), conducted by Family Business United, found that management succession planning was a worry for 39% of business owners, while 35% ‘cited engaging and developing the next generation’.
Ownership succession and developing responsible future owners was a worry by more than a third of business owners. The same number also highlighted identifying and maintaining family values as an ongoing concern.
Penny Lovell at CBAM said: “Succession planning is naturally a significant concern for family businesses and requires careful consideration.
“Not only must owners consider developing their replacement, and ensure family values are adhered to, they also must plan for their own retirement. Taking advice early and developing a personal financial plan is crucial to alleviating anxiety and meeting long-term goals.”
The day to day running of the business came in as the top worry for family business owners, with 40% saying that continuing to develop and remain a profitable business was a key concern.
Personal finances also stood out, with worries about planning for later life highlighted by 38% of owners. Outside of family businesses’ immediate control, four in ten (39%) business owners said red tape, regulation and legislation was a worry.
Top ten worries keeping family business owners awake at night:
Continuing to develop and remain a profitable business
Management succession planning
Red tape, regulation and legislation
Planning for later life
Engaging and developing the next generation
Ownership succession and developing responsible future owners
Identifying and maintaining family values
Extracting value from the business
Developing effective marketing, social media and PR strategies
Family businesses employ almost 12 million people in the UK and turn over an estimated £1.3 trillion each year, over a third of the turnover of the private sector.
Lovell added: “UK SMEs face a multitude of challenges and family-owned small businesses can have an especially hard time navigating regulation and adapting to changing policy while remaining loyal to their unique set of family values.
Beyond that, all this must be done while running a profitable business.