Business Succession Planning We also provide succession-planning services to owners of closely held businesses. Handing over your business to family members successfully can mean the difference between being financially independent for life or losing the value of many years of hard work and effort. More than 70 percent of family-owned businesses do not survive the transition from founder to second generation. Rather, they fall prey to either the estate tax or family discord. Developing and implementing a well-designed plan is essential to the long term success of the business you've grown and developed from the very beginning. Succession planning also applies irrespective of whether you have family members looking to take over the business. One day you are going to need to exit the business, through retirement or sale. Succession planning covers the key steps to prepare the business for that moment. It's important to bear this concept in mind: ultimately, for your business to truly be a realizable asset for you, you need to constantly be working on it with a view to selling it sometime in the future. Whether you do sell it or not is irrelevant, keeping that frame of mind means that at least you will always be in a position TO sell it and realize its true value, if you should ever want or need to. That focus gives you a greater awareness of the need to systemize your business and make it less dependent on you. People want to buy businesses that work, not businesses that are run by people that work and work and work. Succession planning then is an ongoing, ever improving process and is just as much about working ON your business as planning for the future.