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Leaving Your Business To The Children

Discussion in 'Starting-up, expanding and exit plans' started by selfemployed, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. selfemployed

    selfemployed Super Moderator

    Many people, myself included, have this dream of building a business for the family which I can pass onto the kids one day. However, in all honesty how many of our children have an interest in the businesses we run? Unfortunately I fear times will have changed even more by the time I am looking to retire and passing the business on to the kids may be even more of a pipe dream.
  2. Businessman

    Businessman Member

    My Uncle and his partners built a wee 'clutch' of takeaways and restaurants. They never stopped any of us kids getting into that business, but never encouraged it. My Sister ran a wee takeaway for years before selling up, her daughter wasn't going into it in a million years! That said, my own daughter went off and studied costume design; she'll graduate this year. I'd hope she'll take over the family business in some form or another, though I suspect it will 'morph' into a completely different form. - Which, to be honest, I'm quite happy to let happen. I reckon I've another 15-20 years before I'd really want to retire per se; but I've already started to restructure things and start to step back a tiny wee bit.
  3. Needhelp

    Needhelp Member

    For me, if I left my business to the children they would need to have a genuine interest for it to succeed. Sometimes, if this genuine interest is not there then it is probably best just to sell the business and either share it out amongst the children or leave it in your will.
    Businessman likes this.
  4. Children also have more opportunities available to them once they leave school. In Scotland in 1967 only 22 per cent of students stayed on beyond age 15, today that figure is north of 80 per cent. I don't know what the figure is for percentage of kids achieving university degrees compared to a generation or two previously, but it's got to be a several-fold increase.

    By graduation they may have gone in a particular career direction, but even if not, the employment prospects are quite wide-ranging. I just hope that enterprise culture keeps growing, and that some of those kids can look at their parents businesses as an opportunity to really take it somewhere, even if it pivots into a different direction.

    It's so much easier building on a business that's already running, than starting one from scratch ...and way less risky!
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  5. Businessman

    Businessman Member

    The one thing I'd say about that - and I speak as a former college lecturer with a dozen years at the chalk face behind me - is that HNCs, HNDs and University Degrees today are in no way comparable to what went before - all depressingly dumbed down to 'American standards' to sate the politicos' appetite for 'bragging rights'. - Kids stay on past 16 because they have little choice! In 1967 an average young lad could walk out of a school one day and be in a genuine apprenticeship the next!

    Running ANY business is down to your skillset!
  6. MarkB

    MarkB Administrator Staff Member

    I totally agree and the problem is that even kids who get top marks are viewed with suspicion by potential employers because of the whole dumbing down to make sure "average grades" keep rising each year. I am sure I read the other day that a pass level in one exam had been lowered to 30% to keep the figures up. Anyway, from a political point of view the more people that move into further education the less that count against the unemployment figure. These kids are nothing but pawns in a bad tasting political game - shocking.
  7. From what I've read, yes that seems to have been happening over the past 10-15 years unfortunately. But to get back on-topic, if it's not more opportunities luring children away from working and taking over their parents businesses, then what are you suggesting is the reason?
  8. Businessman

    Businessman Member

    It's actually been going on for about 20 years or more! And the points made are not off-topic!

    The obsession with creating nominal graduates has created a serious shortage of people with real skills, particularly in practical/craft areas. To make matters worse , there has, over the past decade or so, been a 'cul' of teachers and lecturers with genuine craft skills, in favour of the more complaint 'graduates' who think it's acceptable to be 'one page ahead of the students' in the subjects they deliver.

    The net result is a severely depleted skills-base!

    There is no single reason why kids might not want to take over the family business...

    Very often children do not want to follow their parents into businesses that have been disruptive to family life. - The catering trade for example - long nights in the takeaway and/or restaurant, days sent doing the prep work etc. When children are 'obliged' by one means of another to serve the family business, they can develop the mentality of it being a chore; sheer grind they resent and want freed from. In other cases, I've known of people who isolated their children completely from the business, sent them to private schools, lodged them with 'houseparents' and wound up producing spoilt, narcissistic, self-entitled brats who simply want to asset-strip the business.

    Then there is the plain and simple fact that the best-adjusted child is likely to be an individual, and when it comes to them, there is no 'one size fits all' set of reasoning... My own daughter will, by her own volition, follow me into some aspect of pretty-much the same industry. But she will not have the technical skills necessary to do what I do. - Mind you, I don't have the technical skills necessary to do what she does!

    Again... Running ANY business is down to your skillset! For instance, the roads are littered with the corpses of dead pubs, restaurants and takeaways... Why? 'Everybody' eats and drinks and thinks they could play mein host with ease! Reality is a bit different! - I only know that because I grew up with family in these trades and know what a scary-hard slog they really are!
  9. selfemployed

    selfemployed Super Moderator

    Society has changed in my view - there is a need to balance workers rights against employers rights. These rights tend to flip flop in favour of different parties, depending who is in power which does nobody any good. For many people today there is a feeling of entitlement when those from a different generation had to put their nose to the grindstone to bring money in to keep the home going.

    I would like nothing more than to leave any businesses I have when I retire to my kids - maybe social trends will have moved full circle by the time I retire :)
    Businessman likes this.