Part of the complexity in addressing succession planning in any family business is the fact family and business are inextricably linked. Where the family is there to provide love, care, nurturing and support, a business is there to produce goods and services as effectively as possible and the farm is in the middle. It helps to separate those three and engaging an outside professional supports this to happen more effectively.
Consider this: If the plan is for all children to return to the family farm business one day then the focus 15 years earlier ideally needs to be on growth and expansion and this needs to be planned. Questions to think about – what attributes do you want the kids to have when they come back? What will be their role? What is their remuneration package? How are you going to transition the business management to them? How will you as the business owners exit the business, how will the next generation enter?
It’s really important to preempt what is coming up and make sure the business is in the right stage to manage it.
We find those farmers which address these issues and manage it well over time are more successful. Research has proven those which address succession strategically over time are 30 percent more profitable. The energy that once was being spent worrying about all the issues and concerns is now redirected and being positively driven into the business.