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.


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.


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…

Takeaway: Alan Spoon from The Washington Post – Non Family CEO’s

Alan Spoon, the former President of The Washington Post, spoke at a recent Center meeting and shared some of his experience as a non-family executive in a family held business.

On non-family CEO’s:

A non-family manager during the recruiting process will be especially interested in the growth plans for the business.

They will take into consideration:

  • The ambition of the family
  • The Strategic Plan for the business
  • The family management genuine commitment to growing the business
  • Important that “family is 110% committed”

He said one of the worst things a family can do is to say “let’s grow, but they don’t really mean it”