New research finds 17% of plumbers work for their family business

New research has found that 17% of UK plumbers now work for their family business.

The study by IronmongeryDirect surveyed workers across the nation to discover the current scale of family firms and whether they will continue to be widespread in the coming years.

According to IronmongeryDirect’s findings, 33% of tradespeople say they would like to pass their company on to their children. Furthermore, the number of people working for family firms looks to be increasing, with 52% of 18 to 24 year olds doing so, compared to 25% of over 45s.

Workers in some trades are far more likely to inherit their relative’s business than others, including 63% of bricklayers at the top of the list, followed by 50% of plasterers and 48% of carpenters, while plumbers are at the other end of the table, with 17%.

A statement has said that when the time comes for a tradesperson to pass on their business to a relative, there can be lots to think about and the process is not always straightforward. In fact, only 12% of tradespeople said it was easy to inherit their family business.

IronmongeryDirect has partnered with Rick Smith, managing director at Forbes Burton and a business consultancy expert, to share advice for people looking to continue their family firm.

  1. Do your homework

Rick said: “Ensure you do your due diligence and conduct a comprehensive appraisal of the business to see any risks and problems you will be inheriting.

“Make sure that you are able to look at all existing financials. This includes past, present, and future tradings, KPIs and any cashflow forecasts that they might have.”

  1. Document the process

He continued: “Ensure it is a documented transition and everything is written down. Make sure to include all the uncomfortable points that are not often discussed with relatives. Any pain points should be assessed, agreed upon and then documented accordingly so it’s clear what is being handed over.”

  1. Pick up existing relationships

Rick concluded: “It’s important that there is some continuity, so make sure to have a thorough handover. You should spend time understanding the business’ important and valuable client, customer and supplier relationships and then plan how you can best carry on or renegotiate these once you take over.”

Charlie Carlton, digital director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “Family businesses represent an important and significant section of the trade industry, and our research suggests that this won’t be changing anytime soon. 

“However, it’s important that people follow established processes when inheriting family firms so that the transition is official. That’s why we’ve partnered with Forbes Burton to share expert advice to smooth the handover.”

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