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5 tips for bringing young people into the family business

Running a small business can be a dream come true for owners. And many people hope to pass the company down to their children and grandchildren at some point.

If you hope to pass your business to the next generation, consider the following tips that can help you do so.

  1. Utilize their skills. Even as teenagers, young people have skills that can be useful in a business setting. For instance, tech-savvy teens may be able to set up websites, manage social media accounts or come up with digital solutions. Especially in this environment, businesses are shifting focus on online presence,  which small, family-run enterprises may not have. Having the perspective and skills of someone familiar with online tools can be a valuable resource.
  2. Involve them in business events. Whether you sponsor fundraisers, host virtual conferences or hold weekly leadership meetings, involving your child can be beneficial. Not only can this help the next generation connect with the company and how it operates, but it also gives them insight into what the business values with regard to managing internal and external relationships.
  3. Set a good example. If your child sees nothing but the stress and frustration of running a business, the idea of taking it over someday can seem more like a punishment than a legacy. Keep this in mind when you bring work home.
  4. Provide an education. Your child may know what you do or some general information about the business, but providing a comprehensive education can help him or her more fully appreciate his or her role in the enterprise. Therefore, it can be wise to teach young people about the history of the business and educate them on operations and being an employer sooner rather than later.
  5. Establish solutions that prioritize smooth transitions. Having a succession plan can be critical in helping the next generation prepare and take on their new positions. It can also eliminate potential conflicts and challenges that could disrupt ownership. With a succession plan, you can define roles and decision-making structures. You can also create a roadmap for the business that allows partners, employees and others to feel more comfortable during times of transition.

These suggestions can make it easier for the new generation to take over a business when the time comes.

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