Perhaps the most powerful illustration of succession's importance inside the family firm is the staggering number of family businesses that plan to hand over control to the next generation in the short_term. For instance, in the US alone, 40% of family business CEO's are planning to transfer power to the next generation within the next 5 years. When viewed in combination with the factors surrounding succession, this statistic truly represents the importance of the succession process not only within the firm, but also on a macroeconomic level_family_owned businesses have served as the backbone of society since the times of the ancient Greeks.
While it may seem obvious that family businesses should prepare for a succession event, it's not always the case. In fact, until recently, most family businesses did not have any succession plans in place. As one can understand, planning for the transfer of power is extremely important. Although this is a long process that involves developing talent across the workforce, a good way to kick off the succession planning process is to review the key functional areas in one's company and create a basic succession plan for those areas. Using a succession planning template can greatly aid in this endeavor. Not only does it enable frank communication about succession plan, a succession planning template helps to visualize what can be an overwhelming subject. All in all, it is essential that family businesses address the issue of succession in all areas of the business and utilize templates that make understanding the process easier for all parties.