Family business – the 3 generation challenge

Business building Australia

Most family businesses don’t make it into the 3 generation of ownership.  It is too often the case that the second generation take for granted the business built by the first generation through sweat and hard work.  There are several reasons why the second generation steers the family business towards trouble.  These include:

  • Children grow up in their parents business and take it for granted
  • They have no training or qualifications
  • They have no defined roles or job descriptions
  • They have no experience outside the business
  • They have been given the business rather than required to build it or pay for it
  • They mix family and business matters which causes communication problems

It seems a simple task to ask families to conduct business as though they aren’t related but it is not easy.   Nevertheless, before the going gets tough it is best for the whole family to sit down together and talk openly.  An external facilitator will help keep things on track.   If nothing else, a plan and a set of family rules would be a great start.