This is a guest post by Beth Wilson, Canadian Managing Partner, KPMG Enterprise
Family businesses account for as many as 80 percent of the businesses in Canada. All of them face challenges similar to any privately held business. But to survive from one generation to the next, a family business also needs the following attributes:
- The business must be successful enough to support involvement of the family.
- The business must be resilient enough to manage success and adapt so that it does not outgrow the skills and capacities of family members.
- Family members who are keen for involvement, which requires flexibility and adaptability in order to take on the various tasks and roles that the business requires to keep it prospering.
Communication is critical. Each generation has to share the vision of another; however, a family becomes larger and more complex from one generation to the next, and each member may want a voice in running the business.
To succeed, a family needs to plan early to acquire the appropriate skills and training and to groom future leaders to operate a growing business. These may differ considerably from the skills required to start the business in the first place.
In the midst of these pressures, a family business operates under a distinct dynamic. In a more conventional business, an individual’s feelings may not matter as much as the success of the business. In a family business, feelings do matter and so do family obligations, even if they occasionally conflict with strict business principles.
Click here and listen to guest speakers at the 10th anniversary celebration of KPMG's Centre for Family Enterprise as they share first hand experience working within their world of Family Enterprise in Canada:
- Kevin Nicholds is the President of Dollco Printing, one of the largest commercial printers in Eastern Ontario.
- Kelly Youngdale is the General Manager of Label Innovation Ltd., a specialized label printing company specializing in the medical field.
Click here to download a complimentary edition of Family Business Succession: Managing the all important family component.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.
Posted on Nov 14, 2008 6:00:00 AM