Initial Findings – Any Surprises?

Author: Russell Haworth
Published: 17th August 2016

vintage-technology-keyboard-oldFor the first of my updates I thought it would be good to highlight some of the key initial findings from the research and interviews that I have conducted.

Some of these initial findings will be old news, it is stuff that we are all familiar with but I still think it is worthwhile outlining some of the common issues and recurring themes that are out there, if nothing else it is a reminder of some of the work that needs doing.

10 Key Findings:

  1. Family Businesses typically leave it too late to prepare and plan a transition between generations.
  2. It is often not until a pain point is suffered that advice is sought
  3. There was no common theme as to who is seen as the first port of call when advice is needed.
  4. All of the family businesses I spoke with said that they would have benefitted from taking advice sooner.
  5. Most feel alone with their issues and do not feel that they have a support network
  6. Typically there are two ‘types’ of adviser. Transactional based and relationship based.
  7. Transactions alone may create a ‘solution’, but where there is an underlying issue, this is rarely solved purely through a transaction.
  8. There is a lack of long term succession planning from most businesses and some advisers.
  9. Collaboration between advisers is, at best, poor!
  10. Despite the general lack of framework and corporate governance the biggest single underlying issue is usually human emotions.

As I mentioned some of these initial findings may not come as a surprise but it does highlight some issues and opportunities.

  • How do you stand out as a business focussed on building a long term, mutually successful relationship rather than just ‘sell’ the client an off the shelf solution?
  • What do you do to encourage people to seek advice, before they hit a pain point?
  • How far into the future do you look when speaking to and advising family businesses?
  • How often are businesses encouraged to review their plans to ensure that they remain appropriate? 

I will be tackling this from a ‘consumers’ perspective within the book and have my own thoughts and ideas from a professional adviser perspective but I would love to hear from you on the above.

Email me at with your thoughts