Ensure Continuity Through Apprenticeship

It is inevitable that someday, the business that we have founded will have to pass to our children. So how do we ensure that we engage children in a healthy way that will ensure longevity of the business?  One of the ways is through apprenticeship which allows parents to pass the trade to the children. It ensures that the business is sustained for generations.

Children having responsibilities in the business can allow them to see how the work happens in real time. In the old days trades were passed from father to son through the son taking on apprenticeship in the business.  Business is usually taught when one is practicing the trade. Mary’s catering business has been running steadily for fifteen years. Recently she was diagnosed with arthritis which has slowed her down. Luckily, her sons Abe and Ben had been involved in the business over the years and have the knowledge to manage the business efficiently. If she was not practicing this concept, the business would have suffered a great deal.

Apprenticeship enables the business interest to pass on to the child or younger apprentice who has the interest for the skill. It is not always the case for all the children to acquire the family business. Some individuals may have other qualities that are suited for other enterprises or careers. Mr. Kamau has a construction business and intends to pass it on to his children Jane and John. Both of them have not been keen on taking over the business, but Jane is a lawyer while John is an auditor which does complement Mr. Kamau’s business. They made an agreement with their cousin who has worked for the business for five years to let him take up the mantle when the time comes for Mr. Kamau to retire.

Apprenticeship can allow a business to expand gradually. This is because siblings can start establishing the business in different locations or even introduce other product lines in the company. Mr. Ibrahim has been running a restaurant for almost twenty years. His two sons Said and Hassan have just started another business in another location. They have built a framework for a third restaurant which will have the same concept of good food and include different fast food cuisines into the menu. It has helped the general business to eventually become a corporation.

Apprenticeship allows children who have interest in other fields to also have work experience. One example is Jane who runs a poultry business. Her son Michael always wanted to be a doctor, even though he was involved in the business. Recently, he has found employment as a doctor in a leading hospital but he attributes his mother’s business to teaching him a few life lessons that are useful in his career.

It is important to note that, for a family business to continue, there needs to be compromises that apprenticeship expounds on.

What’s your experience of apprenticeship for family business continuity? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Nyakio Kiruthu

Nyakio Kiruthu left the world of banking after 4years to venture into the world of business. She is a shareholder of Thayu Farm hotel, a family business. She holds a degree in Economics and Masters in International Business which enables her to explore the world of business through a unique perspective.

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