Succession is a key issue and one that family firms struggle with, and it goes without saying really, although helps to reiterate the point in question, those families that engage in open conversation and plan for the future, have a greater chance of a smoother transition of ownership.
Easy to say, but way harder to implement!
Family-owned businesses sometimes have the option of keeping the company in the family. But for aging-out owners who want to sell their businesses — family-owned and otherwise — those opportunities are dwindling because of demographics. "Seventy-five percent of businesses under 500 employees are owned by Baby Boomers (born roughly from 1946-64), meaning they are reaching retirement age," says Bruce Skaistis, a partner in the Corporate Performance Group. "They are going to have to go somewhere and there aren't enough buyers for those companies."