You’ve read the statistics: Only 30 percent of all family-owned businesses survive into the second generation and only 12 percent will survive into the third generation. Only three percent of all family businesses operate at the fourth generation and beyond. Even if you haven’t read Roy Williams and Vic Preisser’s 2003 book, Preparing Heirs: Five Steps to a Successful Transition of Family Wealth and Values, which gleaned these statistics from their study of 3,250 business-owning families, you’ve probably been served up the data by wealth management firms, private banks, and family business consulting operations seeking to persuade you that your family business is at great risk. “Do the right thing,” they say (invest more wisely, do your estate planning, form a family office, etc., etc.). Then, your business will continue generation after generation, and all will be well.
We here at Engaged Ownership don’t buy it.