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Alison Vickers – Managing Partner

01792 410116


It has been estimated that historically less than one third of family owned businesses survive the transition from first generation ownership to second generation ownership. Running a family business is never easy. From lack of succession planning and direction to family feuds and emotional business decision making, there are a variety of obstacles that must be overcome to be successful at every stage of development.

As an established accountancy firm providing services to businesses and sole traders, Bevan & Buckland often sees the challenges that arise within family-run businesses. Its team have noted that the most successful family businesses are those with the clearest sense of purpose.

 “It is important that the company sets out its strategic plan. If the company does not know what it is looking to achieve, how does it know it is moving in the right direction? There can be an overlap of duties with conflicting aims and objectives between family members, whilst later down the line, problems can continue to arise particularly as the business moves from generation to generation. Many family businesses put off planning for succession fearing many things including concerns that the next generation is not ready for the role,” said Alison Vickers, Managing Partner at Bevan & Buckland Chartered Accountants.

Alison and her team recommends planning for the future and setting a succession plan which includes what training and support are required for a smooth transition. Taking steps to separate family life and work life is also integral to preventing the internal conflicts that arise. Problems that can mean a loss of key non-family members of staff and the creation of a tense work environment.

“Family feuds must be dealt with quickly and effectively, and not allowed to have a lasting impact on the business. Feuds and emotion-based business decision making can have a direct impact on productivity, prevent the achievement of the business’ ultimate goals and could even result in loss of reputation. Set family employment policies, ensuring that any family members who are recruited have jobs that fit their skills. Adopt good governance by holding regular directors’ meetings, setting agendas, and discussing and resolving issues immediately,” concluded Alison.

For further support and advice on running a family business, please contact Alison Vickers on 01792 410116. Alternatively, please email