It might seem that children are in a prime position to see how a family business works, and therefore, you should be able to accurately gauge their interest in taking over your enterprise when you retire or begin to distance yourself from the business. Not necessarily, says family business succession consultant Jim Kwaiser.
Children often get a distorted view of the family business through their parents eyes, he says. Their perceptions may be formed by your commentary. If you regularly vent your frustrations or anxieties at home, your children may conclude that your family business would be a dreadful place to spend their careers. In reality, the business may have been very lucrative and, despite your grousing, personally rewarding.
Another misconception may spring out of your failure to explain how successful the company has been.
In most cases, theyve never told their children what the opportunities are, says Kwaiser.
You should begin involving your children early in the business, perhaps by bringing them in and giving them responsibilities or allowing limited input into decision making.
Says Kwaiser: We say to parents that its never too early to start.