Succession is a key challenge for family firms undoubtedly but it can be made more of an issue by failure to openly talk about it. 

If you look at the statistics alone they make grim reading as less than 10% of family businesses make it to the third generation, and in many cases the wealth generated is not passed down the line successfully either.

One thing the statistics do not do though is explain how many family businesses sell the business and bank the proceeds, providing them with an income and security going forward.  This may be the result of not having a next generation, or one willing and able to take the business on, but the statistics can be a little misleading!

Having said that, succession is an issue and one that is coming to the fore, as predictions of business transitions, and the older generation of family business elders looking to step down, are likely to rise significantly in the next decade.