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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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How to Build a Legacy Within Your Family Business

family-1 Family Business

Some people who start a business dream of it becoming an enterprise that is passed down through generations. While this is true for some companies and families, it can also be a fraught ambition. Families can be dysfunctional, and when that dysfunction is transferred to the workplace, it can be catastrophic for the business. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that your children or others in the family will want to follow in your footsteps. However, you can increase the likelihood of creating a successful legacy with the steps below.

Your Mindset

If you want to leave a legacy behind, you need to think of terms of your values and how your mission statement reflects that. This in turns needs to be reflected in what you do within the company day to day. Your goal setting should be rooted in these values and this mission statement. It's important that you are able to articulate your values and your mission to your successor.

Create Solutions

It's important that what you pass on to your children is an entity that functions effectively. Too often, family businesses are run inefficiently, sometimes seeming to exist more for the convenience of other family members than to sell products or services or to serve customers. Being rigorous in your processes and solutions should be cultivated as part of the company culture at every level. A construction business should use construction fleet management to ensure that projects are completed within their estimated budgets and time limits while still delivering the high quality promised. Being able to get real-time information on a single platform is critical for success in this area. Similarly, a construction company needs good processes for ensuring safety and compliance. Whatever industry your business is in, take a close look at it to identify the most important elements for success and make sure that you provide the tools and resources to achieve that success.

Choosing Your Successor

Who will follow in your footsteps? If your intention is for this to be a family member, you must be transparent about this. All of your plans could fall apart if key non-family members leave at a critical time because they feel as though you were dishonest about your intentions. Transparency is also important because those key employees can help mentor and train your successor. One thing you may want to consider is what the options may be if no one in your family has the aptitude or inclination to follow you. Do you want your family to still be able to profit from the business, perhaps later bringing a grandchild or great-grandchild into the fold?

If your children or other family members do not work in the company itself, might they sit on the board or have a stake in some other way? You may want to talk to your loved ones, your key employees and an attorney about the different options. Keep in mind as well that making a succession plan is not something you should put off. You should start early, in part because you never know when you might be incapacitated but also because it allows plenty of time to train your successor.

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