Worry over family business succession

CHANGING lifestyles threaten family-owned businesses in WA.

More than 55 per cent of small businesses in WA are considered family businesses and 35 per cent have been operating for more than 10 years.

One of the biggest problems facing family businesses is transition.

The two biggest challenges are attracting children into the business and getting the existing generation to release the reins.

Choices for young people today are much greater than they were 30 or 40 years ago. Children are not as keen to follow in their parents footsteps.

Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis said family business owners should consider training managers to run the business in the absence of their children.

“They can step back from the business and it still stays in the family if the children change their minds,” Mr Etrelezis said.

Succession planning can help ensure the next generation is certain of their place in the business.

It can help avoid business and family problems later on.

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