October 21, 2013. Whenever family works together, deep emotions invariably become involved - emotions that can further complicate the already difficult decision whether to sell a business. If you're thinking about selling a family business, consider the impact on the family. In some instances, of course, you're better off listening to your head. But in this case, it's just as important to consider what your heart is telling you too.
Why You Might Sell the Family Business
Your decision to sell a family business may start with financial need. Maybe you're looking ahead to retirement and want to feel more secure. Or maybe you see serious challenges ahead for your company, with fewer growth prospects available or looming market conditions. You might also look to sell a family business if you're concerned that no one in the next generation has stepped up as an obvious management successor. In addition, the stress of working together can be too much for some families to handle comfortably. Family fighting is always unpleasant, but when family members who work together don't get along and the tensions spill into the workplace, it can make for a destructive personal and professional environment.
Why You Might Not Sell the Family Business
Selling a family business can feel like selling a part of your family. Operating a business together can be the catalyst to keeping the family close. If you sell, your decision will have a significant impact on the lives of people you care about - relatives, employees, and community. Your decision to sell may be stressful especially if you are thinking of selling a business handed down to you over generations. You may wonder about what your parents would do in your shoes. With such factors to consider, you may decide to refuse an otherwise attractive offer and keep your business- a decision that will allow you to maintain your independence, and pass your family legacy on to the next generation. At the same time, before you turn down an attractive offer, make sure you discuss your expectations with the members of the next generation. A family meeting may be in order. If your successors aren't interested or capable of managing the business, you may be on the verge of serious family conflict and disappointment.
No Easy Answers
Sometimes, selling your business may be the best solution for everyone involved, providing you and your family with the assets you need to pursue your next dreams. But because the decision to sell can be highly emotional, make sure you are comfortable with the idea of selling. Just because the price is right does not mean you will be happy when you no longer control the business that has been an important part of your family. Be sure your are ready for the transition. For more information on family business succession, contact Goosmann Law at [email protected] or by calling 712.226.4000.