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Category Archives: Family owned business

Do You Communicate ‘Business’ or ‘Family’?

Mixing a family and a business is like mixing oil and water. A design problem with this dynamic shows up when two family members communicate in the business. As an example, if a father works in the business with his son, the father may have to give instructions to his son.  While the father may think he is talking to his son just like he is talki... Continue reading

Expert Knowledge as a Product

How many times does the boss have to politely and respectfully deliver the same message to the same employee for them to get it? Why is it if an outside expert comes in and tells the employee the same thing, they suddenly get it? It can get really expensive hiring experts to come in and work with your employees every day.  Fortunately, the world... Continue reading

Who Will Buy Your Business?

I had a tour of a town in the oil patch in Alberta this week. The local tour guide pointed out a lot of small businesses that had similar attributes:        Started 20 to 30 years ago by one guy and one piece of equipment and now it has 20 to 25 employees, a fleet of trucks, or trailers, or drilling equipment, or other tools of the trade to ... Continue reading

Reducing the Dependence on the Business Owner – Succession Planning

There are a lot of small businesses in the marketplace that are doing just fine. If they are a first generation business, the founder owners are still the driving force in the business. When the business owner starts looking to the future from the position of current stability and prosperity, some common scenarios appear. Here are the common issue... Continue reading

Business, Personal and Team Goal Setting

During a meeting this week with a business owner client and their key manager employees, I had a bit of an epiphany. This is how it came about: I had just completed the process of clarifying the personal goals of the business owners. Too often, I observe business goals conflicting and overriding the personal goals of the owners, therefore, we c... Continue reading

Succession Planning Advice

Succession planning tip #1 :Count the living people as living! In doing succession and estate planning, it is important to work through various scenarios and timing of life events and plan for each of them. Sometimes we make assumptions about certain events that don’t turn out to be true. One example is three brothers who came to see me for bus... Continue reading

Business Style: Family or Corporation?

One of the intangible assets of any small business is its culture or style. In developing your own style for your business, there is a big difference between operating it 'like a family' or operating like a large 'corporation'. Besides the fact that many of the employees may be family and friends, the family style culture creates an environment wh... Continue reading

Improving the Family Dynamic in a Family Owned Business

Family and business can be like oil and water.  The two dynamics are often complete opposites. Family decisions can be completely emotional – Business decisions can be unemotional. Being part of a family is automatic from birth and continues for life. Being employed in a business is earned and can be for short periods. You can get fired from... Continue reading