If you and your family hope to create a lasting family legacy by passing your enterprise down through the generations, a family vision statement will help guide you in the achieving this goal.
What is a family vision statement? Most people are familiar with a business vision statement. It lays out management’s aspirations for what the business will become – what customers it will serve, products and services it will offer, markets it will operate it in, and at a higher level, what value it hopes to create. A family vision statement is similar, but its focus is the family, not the business enterprise.
The family vision statement answers these questions:
- What do we hope to achieve as a family together?
- What is the purpose of our wealth and what will we use it to accomplish?
- Are there particular needs or expectations we have of the business?
- What values do we expect to see reflected in the business culture?
- Is our philosophy to put the needs of the business before the family, the family before the business, or balance the two?
- What role do we, as family members, intend to play in the management and ownership of our enterprise?
- Do we hope to stay together as a business owning family for generations to come?
- What will our family’s legacy be – to our employees, our community, future generations of family members
The answers to these questions will shape both your family and your enterprise in the years to come. Many long-lasting family businesses come to see that the greatest advantage of being a business owning family is not the financial benefit but the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. Without thought and guidance, your family will under-utilize this wonderful opportunity.