How Not to be the Next Family Business Scandal

Admit it. Don’t you enjoy reading about family business scandals?

It makes your family business seem more normal. You’re not alone. The most popular category of articles on Fambiz are about conflicts and family scandals.

Virtually every family business scandal originates from some form of conflict; sibling rivalry, compensation, favoritism.

In our family business conflict didn’t exist between family members. We were fortunate. Where conflict did come into play was when the company began to grow rapidly and we began to professionalize the business. This brought up contentious issues like how fast to grow, hiring non-family talent, changes in roles and corporate culture. The difference was these issues were business-related and weren’t personal.

Conflict is usually dormant in the early years of a family business, but often gets uncovered when a business is getting ready to transfer to the next generation. More…

Contingency Planning – If Disaster Strikes Are You Ready?

 

Learning to anticipate common family business issues can avert a future crisis

Usually we think of a founder’s health, or worse, death, when we think of contingency planning in a family business crisis. But reading the recent news there are other situations that can affect us almost as much.

FERGUSON, MISSOURI “IT’S A WAR ZONE OUT THERE”

How would your business continue to operate if there was civil unrest in your town. It doesn’t even need to be your location that is affected but a major market where your customers are.

DEMOULA’S MARKET BASKET FAMILY FEUD: COMPANY BOYCOTT

What happens when the conflict between two sides of a family escalates to the point of a work stoppage and customer boycott. In the Demoula’s case the employees and customers supported a boycott of the company when the board changed family management.

How Would Your Family Business Cope in a Crisis?

The above examples are extreme and not likely to happen in your family business. More likely your issues will involve the health of the founder, family conflict or a financial event.

The key is to identify, anticipate, and contingency plan for family business crises in advance. More…