jump to example.com

Lucy Ivanoff: Is leaving your business to your children viable?

ivanoffonphoneMore on business consulting at LucyIvanoff.com.

Recently I read a blog post in the New York Times blog – You’re the Boss. (By the way, this is an informative blog for small business owners/managers, http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com). It was discussing the issues that arise when parents want to bring their kids into their business. There was the usual information about what to look out for, how mechanically to manage the transition and so on, as most such discussions include.

But what I found interesting was that this author’s first consideration in the analysis was to be sure that the business and the market is viable. It is endlessly fascinating to me how often small business owners, whose business is struggling, still tell me that their main focus is leaving the business as their legacy to their children. The business owners may be in their early 40’s so they are theoretically facing another 20+ years of struggling and working to leave their children their business. Is this being done as a rational thoughtful financial decision? Or is this an emotional matter? I find most of the time it is emotional. Most of the time these business owners started their business as a labor of love, maybe a family business passed down from their parents. They were seeing this rosy future where their children would start working in the business, then take over as the parents ride off into their retirement sunset.

The last thing they think of doing is sitting down and figuring out if the struggle is worth it. They are exhausted by the daily effort of simply keeping the business going. This business that they used to love is now a daily struggle. But maybe the business has value, even if it is currently not profitable. And that is the legacy that they continue to struggle to maintain. But maybe this is what the owners need to look at for the current value, not the future value. Instead of facing twenty years of working on a business to leave something to their kids maybe they should be looking to sell the business while it has value and investing some of the money for their kids. And maybe that ride into the sunset could happen sooner. And what happens if you work all those years at it and the kids want to be artists, actors or techies?

Don’t misunderstand me. I am certainly not saying that growing a business to leave to your kids is always a mistake. If you still love the work, if the business still if viable and has a healthy future why not stick with it. But I think it is important to look realistically at your business, its current financial condition, its potential, the current market and what you think the future holds while you still can, while the business still has that value you are seeing now.

 

Discussion
 
Top News
 
a

Seven things to keep in mind about the U.S. economy in 2017

A new year has dawned, a new president is about to take office and many Americans are wondering how 2017 could affect their bottom line.

Marriage equality bill fails in Senate committee

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee failed to address inconsistencies in the Code of Virginia with regards to marriage equality.

Ralph Northam calls on GOP to protect healthcare for millions

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam joined Senator Tim Kaine and others yesterday for a rally with Virginians to save healthcare.

Poll: Affordable college, economy tied in eyes of Virginia voters

Virginia voters believe improving the affordability of public colleges and universities would help solve the sluggish economy.

Fishburne Military School gearing up for Inaugural Parade with Wednesday march in Waynesboro

The streets of Waynesboro will have an Inaugural Parade feel on Wednesday thanks to Fishburne Military School.

Headed to DC for the inauguration? AAA offers travel tips

It is a tradition as storied and nearly as old as the Republic itself. This Friday, America celebrates the 58th Presidential Inauguration.

AAA: Gas prices stabilizing after days of upward movement

Gas prices across the Mid-Atlantic region have stayed relatively static this week, in some areas rising or falling by just a penny or so.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: Any sin in #19 UVA winning ugly?

Chris Graham and Scott German break down #19 UVA’s 77-73 win at Clemson on Saturday in this installment of Street Knowledge.

Inside the Numbers: #19 UVA flips the script in win at Clemson

UVA shot 58 percent from the floor and was 10-of-18 from three-point range, and yet the game at Clemson came down to the final two minutes.

#19 UVA holds on for tough 77-73 ACC road win at Clemson

#19 UVA won a shootout with Clemson, shooting 58 percent from the floor in a 77-73 win over the Tigers on Saturday.

 
Recent News


Viewpoints


Hosts Chris Graham and Crystal Graham of Augusta Free Press highlight local news and newsmakers with an emphasis on the Shenandoah Valley on Viewpoints on WVPT.

Show airs Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m.

Your One-Stop Media Shop

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.