Succession planning crucial for family businesses – FPB

Succession planning for family firms is vital for small business owners – and the whole economy, says the Forum of Private Business

The Forum says that with an estimated three million of the country’s 4.6 million SMEs run by families, it is clear they form the backbone of any economic recovery as drivers of enterprise, entrepreneurship, and commerce.

The Forum’s Chief Executive, Phil Orford, said: “With such a huge number of small firms acting as the muscle for the UK economy, it’s in everyone’s best interest for these businesses to grow, flourish, and be able to trade to the best of their ability.

“But if you look at the number of family firms which make it past second generation of ownership, current figures put it as low as one in five. We need that figure to improve, and succession planning is certainly a tool which will allow firms to go further, longer and be more successful.

“If even a small percentage of family firms were able to carry on trading as opposed to either being sold or simply being wound up once the first or second generation retires, it could make a world of difference to the UK economy,” added Mr Orford.

Acknowledging the sector’s importance to the wider UK, the Forum has teamed up with management consultancy Steuer Gregsson for a partnership it hopes will be able to steer many of its family owned member businesses to future successes and diversification.