I can (and often do) spout all day long about how family businesses should be considering succession at the earliest possible opportunity, and getting professionals in to help make it happen.
What this fails to recognise (as is discussed in this article) is the psychological challenge faced by the business's founder when faced with the prospect of no longer being in control.
They may be concerned that the next generation in't ready, but a bigger challenge may be in handing over the reins of their "baby" to someone else. Any business owner will understand the blood, sweat and tears that goes into making their business a success (especially in the early years) and despite being able to recognise they won't live forever, giving up control is a very different challenge.
All I can implore family business owners to do is to take advice from those who have been there and done that, which is precisely what this family business did. The current generation is even starting to think about succession even though her son in only 8 years old!
For a succession plan to work effectively, everything needs to be put on the table, no matter how uncomfortable for those involved.