family business

Post image for Ancient Chinese Secret? The Key to Family Business Longevity

Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude, an opportunity to be with family. So on this family day, it’s somewhat fitting to have this post about family businesses. If you are, or have any inclination to be, in business with a family member, there is a secret to ensuring its success. Some firms have been family-owned […]

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Have you ever known a family that doesn’t have a fight . . . about something?  It could be about “who’s hosting Thanksgiving,” “who slighted whom,” or “how to run our business.”  In his article, Resolving Disputes in Family Businesses, David Gage points out that: A family business is really three distinct but intricately related systems: Family, […]

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Ever been hit up to invest in a friend’s or family member’s business? Is it wise to do so—given that you know them so well? What steps should you take when asked to invest (or lend money for) a loved one’s business? Tune in to Wall Street Journal Radio, where I sit down with Veronica […]

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From the happy side of being in business with a family member comes this story from Mt. Lebanon, PA about mother-daughter duos who are in business together . . . successfully!  The mothers and daughters seem to have found in each other complementary skill sets, and for them, the business relationship has brought their personal […]

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Family.  You can’t live with them; can’t live without them; most assuredly, want to pull your hair out working with them (sometimes). Family businesses are delicate creatures, and as James Lea (via Marian Banker’s blog) points out, trying to effect positive change takes honesty, courage, and willingness–characteristics often in short supply. I briefly worked with […]

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This isn’t just business divorce, it’s “real” divorce.  The business divorce is the icing on the cake and people fight over it the way they do over children, favorite pets, or heirlooms. There are two main ways a family business can be owned.  (1) One spouse owns the business.  In that case, the non-owner spouse […]

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I recently spoke at a seminar on the subject of buying and selling a business.  One of the most common reasons that sellers don’t get the price they want is that they wait until the last minute before they’re ready to sell.  That is, they wait until they’re burned out, bored … or dead (in […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Could An Agreement Save This Family Business?

Q: I have worked for my dad for more than a decade. He recently told me he wants to stop working but says he is not retiring. He wants to be paid the same amount of money and he wants himself and his wife to keep being covered by medical insurance through the business. He said […]

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Few business partnership situations are as unpleasant as those involving family members. If you “kick the bum out,” will your brother run to Mommy and rat on you? Will you be able to show your face at Thanksgiving dinner if you’ve won the company but lost your family’s support? Read on for the Q&A from […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Q is for Quagmires and Family Businesses

Few business partnership situations are as unpleasant as those involving family members. If you “kick the bum out,” will your brother run to Mommy and rat on you? Will you be able to show your face at Thanksgiving dinner if you’ve won the company but lost your family’s support? Here’s today’s quandary: Q.: My brother […]

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