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Success and succession planning in a family business

Success and succession planning in a family business

Posted on: October 16, 2015
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Not every entrepreneur would classify their operation as a family business. But you'd probably be hard pressed to find an entrepreneur getting by without help from family members.

Rob Reeves, the owner of Castrol Raceway oversees an operation that holds 260 events a year with annual sales between $5 and $6 million. With his wife working in marketing and his children involved, family is a crucial component to the success of the business.

“My family is all here. We have a cabin here, we stay here on the weekends, we spend a lot of time here,” says Rob.

A lot of passion and hard work has gone into this business success story—a story that won't wind down anytime soon if Rob has his way.

“To have my own business is like a legacy. I'll probably pass it on to my kids. They all race and they enjoy it. It’s a real family thing.”

But ultimately, the decision will be up to his sons.

“They have to choose to do it. They are both here every weekend and most weekdays during the summer. So I am hoping that they will take this on...and make it grow even more,” says Rob.

Succession planning for a family business is a way of preserving traditions and lifestyles. But, according to the Alberta Business Family Institute, 70 per cent of family-owned businesses fail before they’re passed on to the second generation.

This is largely due to there being no qualified or interested successor or no succession plan. A succession plan can help you make sure that the value of your business survives and can be passed down to benefit your family.

There are three basic steps to family succession planning:

  1. Determine whether or not succession within the family is likely to succeed.
  2. Develop your succession plan.
  3. Monitor the implementation of the plan to make sure it is working.

A conversation about succession planning might begin at your next family dinner. Your banker is a great resource for information too. You don't have to invite ATB to dinner, but if you do we promise to eat our veggies ;)

Hear more from Rob in his We Grow Alberta videos.

Watch now