family-240If your Maine-based business is family owner, sooner or later, it will be time to hand over the reins to the younger generation. In order to improve the odds for continued success of your family business, you need to develop a plan of succession.

If you already have family members working for you, it may be a complex situation. You will want to divide up responsibilities among them, or groom one or more of them to take over a leadership position. No matter what, some difficult decisions will have to be made.

With that in mind, here are several practical suggestions:

  • Establish strict ground rules for hiring family members. Establish qualifications for each position regardless of a person’s family connection.
  • Teach your successor the ropes just as you would for any employee. It’s important for anyone to have the technical skills and expertise necessary for the job. Implement a plan to evaluate job performance.
  • An independent board of business experts may be helpful. They can help choose and train the right successor.
  • If conflicts threaten to disrupt the business operation, find a mediator to break stalemates.
  • Set up family meetings, and be honest in your discussions. Remember to allow members of the younger generation to voice their goals also.
  • Maximize potential tax benefits. With assistance from Filler & Associates, you may be able to transfer business interests without suffering any dire tax consequences.