Thinking about the future
Your younger family members do not always want to can take over the company of their parents or grandparents. We will ensure that your company will end up in capable hands and be able to keep up its character and team.
Why with us?
We can significantly facilitate it – we bring our ‘know-how’, experience and an external perspective, necessary for a proper, objective analysis of the business activities of your family business. We are a partner who appreciates the fact that there is always space for good changes.
Succession in the company – as a way of development and ensuring the continuity of the company’s operation – is it a good way in uncertain, crisis times?
There is no unequivocal answer to this question. In our case, I had been prepared for some time to take over the company, so there was no question of a lack of business continuity. The succession seemed to be something obvious, both for the owners and for the company’s staff. In addition, due to spending over eighteen working years in the company, the process itself was not burdensome for any of the parties. Unfortunately, time is merciless for each of us and that is why the founders of the company wanted to look for a solution that would allow them to enjoy the fruits of many years of work, but at the same time ensure that the company would be developing in the right direction under the supervision of experienced investors. Certainly, acquiring a financial investor has set new standards in the area of managing and financing the company, which I believe will help us to develop optimally and even more efficiently, thanks to which we will be able to conquer new markets.
Support from the fund – what is the role of the financial partner in this process? What should you keep in mind when choosing such a partner?
What you should pay attention to when choosing this type of partner is whether we have a good financial director in the company who understands the mechanisms of the company’s operation. This is really the key issue when starting cooperation with the fund.
A generation change in a family business – what would you advise managers getting ready for a new role?
I do not consider myself an expert thus I am not sure I can advise someone more extensively in this regard, but from my point of view, as a former vice-president, and currently the president of the company, I would highlight a few important topics to consider. First of all, as it happens in family companies, our management team was a very flat, almost one-person structure. As a result, people who were directors and managers had not developed in themselves or their subordinates a decision-making path or a responsibility path for the steps taken. In family companies, it is often the president-owner who conducts job interviews with regular employees, solves problems for them, which in the long run results in avoiding managers and directors in problematic matters, which often leads to a situation where the president has to intervene in situations such as, for example, sudden lack of toilet paper. This is what took place in our company as well. Second of all, a manager preparing for the role of president must have some trusted people behind him who, like him, will be willing to change their roles, gain new competences and responsibilities, as without such a background such a transformation may fail. Thirdly, the new role casts a new perspective on the company’s problems, its development and presents threats. After the change, everyone hopes that the decisions made and the solutions indicated are as accurate as they used to be in the times of the “old” management board, and this may begin to be a considerable burden. Fourthly, I recommend changing your phone number. Why? If you were an “operational” one, then everyone will be calling you with current topics, forgetting that there are people delegated to your previous duties. They will do it out of habit, because things may be processed faster with you. Conclusion: trusted, competent and appreciated management staff is the basis for the transformation from a family company into a company conquering global markets. Something that is not possible to do it alone.
President of the Management Board of Bigram
Uncertain times are an opportunity for best managers
Similar genes or similar vision – what makes the generational change in a family business successful?
The second option is to either sell the company, whether through the stock exchange or by an investor, or merge it with another company.
And the last scenario is passing the reins to the owner’s children. However, you need to be well prepared for such a move and you must not do anything by force. You need to weigh the decision up , even if the children have been interested in the company’s activities for years. If the owner evaluates their competencies objectively as appropriate, then we have a win-win situation. It’s worse if we do something not necessarily in accordance with the will of the representative of this younger generation, e.g., by maneuvering a son or daughter into this type of scenario. Unfortunately, such cases do happen. This is a very conflicting situation – not only we do not achieve our goals, but we may end up arguing with our own child.
Does a manager who takes over managing a family business have to demonstrate slightly different competencies, specific to relationships in this type of organization?
There is an evident growth in numbers of companies which become part of international concerns, the structures where decision-making is more dispersed. Will the number of managers looking for other directions of development and opportunities to enter the ownership role increase?
On the other hand, it is often the companies themselves that offer managers the possibility of participation, e.g., through the issue of shares, just to keep them in the company. A shareholder, however, is a higher degree of initiation into the company’s activities. If such a manager happens to hit a glass ceiling, another company may offer him a managerial position with the possibility of entering it with a block of shares.