As part of our commitment to family businesses, we conduct a survey about every three years to identify key trends in these organizations. In our last survey, conducted in 2019, we saw positive trends in advance planning for succession, emergency plans, and estate planning, as well as movement toward more formalized board structures. Developing the next generation of leaders, however, remained an area for improvement.

These trends were in contrast to our 2015 survey which was themed “A Perfect Storm,” as so many family business owners indicated that they were planning for their exits but had not done much to prepare the business for them. That survey saw low numbers of family business owners who had taken any meaningful steps in the areas of succession planning, retirement planning, or next generation development.

We recently completed our 2022 survey in a time when the impact of the pandemic on businesses has seemingly begun to diminish and new challenges have come into play. Covid headlines have now largely been replaced with topics such as labor participation rates and inflation. So through all of this, where do family businesses stand?

As we finalize the results from our most recent survey, it is safe to say that certain themes have emerged. First, family business owners have continued making progress in their retirement and estate planning. That is an area that has remained strong, likely a result of pandemic-driven stress and mortality facing events. However, the time being allocated to these plans has put other business projects on the back burner. In particular, the documentation for emergency plans has plummeted and the attention to next generation development still lives as an area for improvement. Attention to governance remains spotty, as well. Despite all of these challenges, though, family business outlook remains relatively positive.

We hope you will join us on Tuesday, October 4 at 8:30am for a webinar that will dive deeper into the trends uncovered in our latest survey as well as some tips for what your family business can do to ensure you are well positioned for the future. Formal invitation to follow, but you may register now by clicking here.

Steven E. Staugaitis is a director at Kreischer Miller and a specialist for the Center for Private Company Excellence. Contact him at Email.

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