Death and life are a part of the same cycle and even those who look invincible will not live forever. When this happens, what remains in their absence is their top priority. For a lot of people, their last will is for their legacy to carry on and for their successors to avoid bickering and get along together. Their primary successor, however, has a tough task ahead of them. Here are five crucial steps that you should keep in mind after inheriting a family business.
1. Meet with a business advisor
In order to figure out where your business stands, you might need to meet with a business advisor. It’s questionable how much the successors know about the actual situation within the business. Also, all of you are too personally invested in the subject matter. This is why it’s for the best to find a professional, better yet, a professional outsider to help you interpret the scenario. This way, you can chart the future course of your business and ensure the continuation of a previously successful campaign.
2. Communicate with employees
Keep in mind that it’s not just the successors and shareholders that are invested in the future of the company. The employees may be facing a lot of uncertainty as well. Communicate with your employees in order to help them accept the transition. Chances are that some of them were personally tied to the previous owner, which is why you need to understand one thing – they too might be grieving. This is why you shouldn’t give any rash statements. Take your time, choose your words and try to be as honest as possible.
3. Resolve the issues regarding the will
Another thing you should take into consideration is the matter of resolving the issues regarding the will from a legal perspective. Sure, you might be the sole heir but just because it’s an obvious thing, this doesn’t mean that you can just assume full legal control before all the paperwork and legal procedure is done with. So, start by trying to resolve the issues regarding the will and the best way to do so is to hire legal experts. The very act of reading of a will is a delicate matter and it might be for the best that it is entrusted to professionals.
4. Update the business plan
It is not unheard of that there’s a new direction for the business under new management. If nothing else, refreshing your plan might be a good idea. Still, it might be for the best that you don’t try to fix anything that isn’t broken. While you may be confident in your ability and have some great ideas of your own, it might be much safer to spend the initial period getting accustomed to this newly-arisen scenario. Try to get accustomed to the situation at hand and save major changes for later.
5. Consider selling the business
In the end, the previous owner might have been the soul of the company and with their passing, things might never become the same again. Keep in mind that the successors may not be able to settle their differences and, in this scenario, it might be for the best to just sell the business and split the money accordingly. Sure, it may seem like such waste at the moment but it definitely beats ruining the business due to a lack of competent (or even unified) leadership. It also beats the scenario in which there’s a massive fight within the family.
Inheritance law and transition of ownership/power within a family can be quite messy. This is why you need to ask yourself what comes after? Sometimes, the process itself can deteriorate the relationships within the family (and therefore the business) so much that future coexistence or collaboration is impossible. Now, if the offended party is a valuable member of the firm, offending them and chasing them away might mean that, in practice, your company loses quite a bit of value. Always take this into consideration.