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When would be a good time to look into taking over a family business?

My father's grandfather started this high-end women's retail shoe store. It has been passed down 3 generations and is staring me in the eye. The store has enjoyed consistent growth over the last decade and I feel that, with some help, I could take it to the next level. I have a degree in business management and feel like I've had enough job experience to take this business on.
What worries me is that you don't mention that you are actually working in the business as you ask this question. I assume that if you're there, working it, then you are already looking into taking over the business and the present generation is looking forward to the time when that happens. Does this not come up in conversation?

If you're not there working, then it seems to me, from the outside, a bit premature to be talking about taking it over or looking into taking it over. Normally people go out for a cup of coffee together before they have a honeymoon in Tahiti.

Tim

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