“Wealth doesn’t pass through three generations” –Chinese Proverb
The statistics are daunting: Fewer than one in three family businesses are passed on to the second generation. Only one in eight make it three generations. (You don’t even want to know the statistics for four generations!)
As a second-generation family business, I’m keenly aware the odds of handing down our company to the next generation are stacked against us. Daunting perhaps, but as Mark Twain famously observed, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Just like you, my brothers and I are too busy helping grow the business to think much about statistics.
My Dad Gary Moore started ATI in 1989. From the very beginning Dad made it clear my brothers and I were free to choose whatever career we desired. For my brothers and I, that career was destined to be with ATI. The company was growing rapidly when we were in our teens, and we all started at the bottom, sweeping floors and opening mail. Ryan followed in Mom’s footsteps for a while and earned his real estate license, but he would eventually come around and join us at ATI in 2004.
Fast forward a couple decades and the three of us are still working right alongside Dad every day. Scott leads day-to-day field operations. Ryan is our rainmaker, leading sales and growth for the entire company. And I lead our expansion strategy. Our goal is simple: remain a family restoration company for generations to come. To do otherwise would be to let down our employees, their families, and our children.
I know you are every bit as passionate about keeping your business in the family as we are. After all, what are we working for if not for our families? Building a successful company is one thing, maintaining a thriving enterprise for generations to come another.
This year our board made the decision to hire an outside candidate to succeed Dad as CEO. David Carpenter brings a wealth of experience building companies, both public and private. More than simply hiring a seasoned executive to propel our business through the next stage of growth, we sought to establish a precedent as part of a thoughtful, multi-year succession plan.
Having a clear succession plan in place is one way we help ensure our family business will continue to grow and thrive in the hands of the next generation.
Whatever size your business, whether you’ve been in business a few years or a few decades, it’s never too early to start building deep executive depth and a clear succession plan. What roles will need to be filled? Who among your family and current employees can grow to fill them? Which roles may need to be filled with outside talent?
Answering these questions helps ensure your business continues to grow despite executive departures, planned or otherwise. A thoughtful succession plan is one way you can help even the odds that your family’s business survives – and thrives – for generations to come.