Is succession planning keeping you awake at night?

Succession planning dominates the top 10 worries keeping family business owners awake at night, says Close Brothers Asset Management

Issues around succession planning make up four of the top 10 worries keeping family business owners awake at night, according to new research carried out by Family Business United on behalf of Edinburgh-based Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM).
The survey of family businesses found that management succession planning was a worry for 39% of business owners, while 35% cited engaging and developing the next generation as a concern.
Ownership succession and developing responsible future owners was stated as a worry by more than a third (34%) of business owners. The same number also highlighted identifying and maintaining family values as an ongoing concern.
The day-to-day running of the business came in as the top worry for family business owners, with 40% saying that continuing to develop and remain a profitable business was a key concern.
Personal finances also stood out, with worries about planning for later life highlighted by 38% of owners.
Outside of family businesses’ immediate control, four in 10 (39%) business owners said red tape, regulation and legislation was a worry.
According to researchers, family businesses employ nearly 12 million people and turn over an estimated £1.3 trillion each year, equating to more than a third of the turnover of the private sector.
Penny Lovell, head of Private Client Services at CBAM, said: “UK SMEs face a multitude of challenges and family-owned small businesses can have an especially hard time navigating regulation and adapting to changing policy while remaining loyal to their unique set of family values. Beyond that, all this must be done while running a profitable business.
“Succession planning is naturally a significant concern for family businesses and requires careful consideration. Not only must owners consider developing their replacement, and ensure family values are adhered to, they also must plan for their own retirement. Taking advice early and developing a personal financial plan is crucial to alleviating anxiety and meeting long-term goals.”
Top 10 worries keeping family business owners awake at night
  1. Continuing to develop and remain a profitable business
  2. Management succession planning
  3. Red tape, regulation and legislation
  4. Planning for later life
  5. Engaging and developing the next generation
  6. Ownership succession and developing responsible future owners
  7. Identifying and maintaining family values
  8. Extracting value from the business
  9. Taxation
  10. Developing effective marketing, social media and PR strategies