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Protecting your family business for years to come

What happens to the business when we’re gone? Moreover, what happens to the business if anyone intrinsic to its success is absent? These are things you can consider, things you should consider.

Often (and a lot more commonly than you may think), this question is overlooked. Perhaps it’s because the answer is unpalatable and humans have an in built instinct to ignore things that make us feel uncomfortable. Common excuses include, ‘it won’t happen to me’, ‘we’ve got this far, I’m sure we’ll adapt’ and ‘people know what I would want to do’… the list goes on.

Sometimes the latter is the problem – people don’t know what you’d want to do. You don’t know what to do. It’s on the list but running the business just takes over and it’s something you know you need to think about but you never get around to doing.

But what if we do look closer at answering this question. What thought is really given to the financial impact of the absence of a shareholder, partner, father, mother? What might prevent the ongoing success of the family business? The ongoing success of the family?

Planning for the worst and ensuring sufficient, well ordered structures are in place, is essential to mitigating the most devastating of risks. This extends beyond simply having insurance – although this is certainly a vital part of a risk-mitigation plan – but think strategically as to what might happen to the ownership of a business on death or illness.

  • Who has control?
  • And more importantly, who should have control?
  • How will the business trade?
  • What will the impact of lost skills be? On profits? On creditors? On future prospects…?

Most – if not all – of the family business owners we meet are driven to grow, protect, and nurture their families’ livelihoods.

We work with clients on a whole host of topics to include devising long term and short term strategy, developing opportunities, all the way to drafting disaster recovery plans. Whatever stage the family business is at, the energy, attention and love afforded is abundantly evident and we’re to help as much as we can.

Every family business is unique and each requires different solutions to the challenges they face that are tailored for their individual needs. Our business review service, Family Business Connect, has been specially designed to assist family and owner managed businesses access understanding, support and guidance.

To begin to look inside your business with a little more clarity and confidence, now and into the future, get in touch with one of our Family Business advisers at PKF Francis Clark and arrange your initial Family Business Connect Review.

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