We’re moving on to the second set of questions from Thomas Deans’ book, Every Family’s Business, where he shares 12 questions that help families determine exit strategies for their business.

These questions are around understanding succession and the thoughts that people have about the opportunity to be a successor. As much about the opportunity, the questions are about protecting the wealth that you do have tied up in your family business. Or, if it’s not family, your successor as the business owner.

There are no wrong answers to these questions. You’re just looking for greater clarity between the generations and how and when the business will be sold.

If you’re considering gifting the operating business to a child or children, there is great value in hearing whether or not the succeeding generation is prepared to risk their capital today to actually purchase the business.

If they’re not interested in risking capital to purchase the business, that’s great to have that discussion now, rather than further down the track.

Remember these questions can be for a parent/child situation or, if you’re a business owner without a family member, these can be for a key employee or manager you might be considering as the successor.