Family Business Consulting

Family Business Feuds

How to fix them; how to prevent them

family business consulting Our family business consulting team of experts at the Atlanta-based Family Business Institute and our web organization, Family Business Experts, offer proven and powerful strategies for dealing with the unique and complex problems that confront and confound families in business together!

"ASK THE EXPERT"- discuss your issues and problems and quickly reduce the pain and stress created by dysfunctional family businesses.

Have a question about your family business?

If you'd like to find solutions to your most difficult problems, ensure peace and harmony in your family, grow your business and make more money, then this might be the most important letter you'll ever read.

Here's why:

The Atlanta Family Business Institute was created to be a multi-disciplined family business consulting team, a highly specialized resource for family-owned and closely held business. We understand how to connect family values and best-business practices. Family business consulting is our expertise!

SUCCESSION COACH - For most family business owners, succession is a once-in-a-life-time experience. Not done right, the succession process can stall - or worse yet, wreck the business and destroy family relationships. Family business strategy master Don Schwerzler is an internationally recognized expert in family business dynamics. He began studying and advising family business entrepreneurs in 1967 - a career span of more than 40 years.

EXPERIENCE - The multi-disciplined approach evolved from the work and experience of Don Schwerzler, a pioneer in the field of family business consulting. Schwerzler has been perfecting family business success strategies for more than 40 years.

QUICK RESPONSE - based on our family business consulting experience, working with hundreds of family businesses, we can quickly judge which strategies will work for you and your business, and which ones won't work. We promise straight talk, objective assessments and no punches pulled. One phone call or e-mail will start the process of sorting out the issues that need to be addressed, and how best to implement the remedial actions needed to resolve the problems.

OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT - "Triage" is a concept developed by the US Army Medical Corps during the war in Korea - a concept for using specialized experts and resources efficiently and effectively. Our family business consulting experience coaching and mentoring successful entrepreneurs and senior level managers assures our ability to bring winning leadership skills to family business owners. To date, we have served clients located in 42 states in the USA as well as in Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Belize, Japan, England and Germany.

EFFECTIVE ACTION - Based on our family business consulting experinece, we know family business problems rarely go away by themselves. In fact, just the opposite is true. The longer the problems persist, the more destructive they become. Without being addressed and resolved, family business issues will continue to escalate and can ultimately wreck the business and destroy the family. Our family business consulting team can help!

TEAM OF EXPERTS - family business issues are very complex and quickly go beyond the expertise of a single profession. We have a 20 member team of experts from many different professional disciplines - trained to work successfully with family business dynamics. We are a highly skilled family business consulting team. We solve family business problems!

of our family business consulting

End Family Feuding

Put the fun back into your business

Optimize the knowledge and skill sets of ALL the family members

Grow the business faster and make more money

Learn how to improve positive communications

Stop having hurtful conversations that produce damaging ultimatums

Develop the business infrastructure

Create "locomotion" not "commotion" for your family business

Develop an Exit Strategy

Make it a process not an event

Create an Advisory Board

Bring fresh ideas into a family business and create a safety net should a catastrophic event occur

Conduct Formal Family Meetings and Retreats

Making a business plan for the family before making a plan for the business

Role Confusion

Learn how deal with the boss when he/she is also your parent

Successor Training

Knowing when it's time to walk away - and not worry that the business will fail

Succession Plan

Being fair and equal to all of the kids

Integrated approach helps order chaos

Infrastructure helps to better manage and direct the business

Connecting the family and the business

Learning how to connect family values and best business practices

Improved communications in the family and the business

Helps to rationalize emotional situations

Privacy and Confidentiality

Having someone who cares AND understands family business dynamics as part of your personal support team

Effectively dealing with key non-family managers

Special strategies to recruit and keep non-family senior managers

Quick response to all family business problems

Approach is supported by a multi-disciplinary team

Getting Started

ASK THE EXPERT - is a unique opportunity to discuss your family business issues and strategies with Don Schwerzler, one of America's leading family business consulting experts.

ASK THE EXPERT - after listening to your description of the issues you want to solve, we will ask some questions to ascertain whether yours is a family first business or a business first family. Each has a different approach - not asking the right questions could make your situation worse.

ASK THE EXPERT - family businesses are very complex and much more difficult to manage than other businesses. Problems in the family will cascade over to the business. Problems in the business will cascade over to the family. Our knowledge and experience will enable you to successfully deal with the complex problems that confront and confuse families in business together.

ASK THE EXPERT - for family business strategies you can use to successfully Grow your business and Strengthen your family relationships.

ASK THE EXPERT - what steps you can take to PREVENT common problems that hurt family businesses.


Listen to what our family business clients say.

"They were professional and objective ..."

We are a third generation building products business with 37 locations. My younger brother and I took over the business when my dad died. My mother was active in the business into her later years and until her health started failing. I did not have any children in the business but my brother had three of his sons in the business. Two of their wives worked part time in the business. My brother and I each owned 50% of the business. The plan was for my brother to buy me out when I decided to retire. When we started talking about my retirement, we ran into a lot of problems in terms of what the value of the business might be. My brother and his family felt the business was worth much less than I thought it was worth. I started working on a part-time basis - started to get out of the business. We never got the problem resolved. My brother died unexpectedly and as a result of an old agreement worked out by our dad, I became the sole owner of the business. My brother's family had their lawyers and accountants and I had mine. It was a terrible time - perhaps the worse time of my entire life. It seemed the financial security I had planned for was falling apart. I had read about the Family Business Institute and called for help. They were able to help us find fair and equitable solutions. They were professional and objective - they did not take sides in any of the disputes. I only wish we had brought them in before my brother passed away - it would have saved us a lot of time, money and hard feelings.


"...helped us establish an action plan that was fair... to everyone ..."

We are a second generation insurance agency.My son decided he did not want to be in the business so I was delighted to have my son-in-law come into the business. He had a good education and helped to increase the size of our business greatly. After 10 years I decided to retire and turn the business over to my son-in-law. My son was outraged as he felt that the company was part of his legacy - he wanted to own 50% of the business with his brother-in-law. The problems we were experiencing shut down my plans to retire. My son-in-law and my daughter were upset with me as they felt I was going back on promises I made to them and my son was saying I had betrayed him and his financial legacy in the business. We had heard about the Family Business Institute in the WALL STREET JOURNAL and decided to give them a call. They made an assessment of the business as well as meeting individually with each member of the family. They were able to help us establish an action plan that was fair and equal to everyone. They worked with us in implementing the succession plan for myself and now my wife and I are enjoying our retirement and our grandchildren!


"...they saved my family and my business."

My daughter and I got along fine. We operated a high-end retail specialty gift business with about 30 employees. She married and our personal and business relationship fell apart.Her husband was telling her how she should run my business. The problems impacted other siblings as well. Everyone was taking her side against me. Because of all the family problems, I was losing my business focus and the business was suffering as a result. Key employees were beginning to be concerned about their own security. I called the Family Business Institute and they were able to quickly assess the business and family issues. First we worked on the business issues. We were able to stabilize the business and to position it for significant growth. Then we were able to reconcile the family problems. The professionals we worked with from the Family Business Institute were absolutely the best - they saved my family and my business.



" to tell me something that other key managers... were unable to tell me..."

I started this manufacturing company 22 years ago. We started on a shoestring and grew the business to where it was doing about $12 million a year. My son came into the business having worked for another company for about 5 years after he finished college. He was a good salesman but was not a good "people person". He was creating a lot of problems on the shop floor by changing production schedules to accommodate his customers. This was causing problems with our other customers as well as with our sales force and the rest of our management team. One of my friends had used the Family Business Institute and was impressed with the results of their work. The family business consultants were able to tell me something that other key managers of the business were unable to tell me - that perhaps my son was not competent to run the business. One of the recommendations was to establish an advisory board to assist me in making decisions about my son's ability to run the business. The Family Business Institute helped me to recruit seasoned business professionals to serve on my advisory board. They helped establish the performance benchmarks we would use to determine my son's ability to run the business. Within 5 years the advisory board reviewed the goals and objectives that had been set forth by the board and my son had met or surpassed every one of them. The board recommended my son for the job of CEO. My management wholeheartedly agreed with the board's recommendation. At this point I was comfortable with how much progress my son had made and was able to initiate the ownership transfer of the business.


"...the best decision I ever made!"

We are a third generation contracting company. My dad started the business and I now have two sons and a daughter in the business. We were having a lot of problems. I was interested in retiring but the kids did not seem ready to run the business. Our planning meetings always seemed to turn into shouting matches. The only thing we seemed able to do was to hurt each other's feelings. I decided that the best course was to sell the business. I would rather close the business than ruin the family relationships. My daughter told us about the Family Business Institute. She had heard one of the principals speak at a trade show meeting she attended. I contacted the Family Business Institute about their services and decided to give it one more shot. Each of the family members was interviewed separately and then we conducted a family business meeting that was facilitated by one of the family business consultants from the Family Business Institute. Things improved 100%. It took three years and a lot of hard work to train-up the kids in areas where they needed additional seasoning and training. We established performance goals and objectives. This was all part of formalizing the business planning processes and management decision making processes. It was a wonderful experience watching the kids making quantum leaps in their business training and experience. Having them mentored by the Family Business Institute was the best business decision I ever made!


that not everyone who claims to be a family business consulting expert is!

1: Some family business consulting advisors are trained to do family therapy and family counseling - but lack any formal business training and/or practical business experience.

2: Some family business consulting advisors have legal and accounting expertise but lack any formal training in dealing with family dynamics.

3: Some family business consulting advisors are from academia - they write interesting books and articles, but have never known the stress of meeting a weekly payroll.

4: Confidentiality is lost when you share the family's business and personal issues with friends and acquaintances.

5: The boiler plate solutions offered by the large and expensive accounting/consulting firms rarely solve the unique and complex issues that arise in family businesses.

We help you protect your family business legacy!

ASK THE EXPERT can provoke new insights and solutions to your family business problems. Many clients report their stress and pain started to ease during the first phone conversation. Why? Because they had been give the insights needed to take immediate correct action.

Where else can a family business turn for one-on-one support - and not spend a fortune in the process?

Just think - ASK THE EXPERT could be helping you within hours!

When dealing with professional expertise, the most valuable component is time and expertise. ASK THE EXPERT provides you a unique opportunity for a 1 on 1 conversation with our family business guru - no strings attached. You don't have to buy anything nor sign up for anything. It's an opportunity to discuss your family business issues with someone who understands - and can help.

In summary,
here's what you get

Success strategies for YOUR family

Success strategies for YOUR business

Strategies to protect YOUR family business from the minefield of problems that confront families in business together

Parent strategies for being fair and equal to all of YOUR children

Take Action Now

Do you have questions about your family business?
Don't have the answers - don't know who to ask?
It's FREE to

Family Business Consultants.
Reply within 48 hours.

Let us know a good time to call you - remember our family business consulting experts are available evenings and weekends.

Free one-on-one discussion with a family business expert.

Objective recommendations based on your personal situation.

Easy and Simple as sending an e-mail to start the process - and no strings attached!

It's like having your own mentor and coach for family business issues and strategies

Family Business issues rarely go away by themselves. They tend to fester like an infected boil - never "life threatening" but never allowing the people involved to be free of the pressure and the pain. Re-visit our web site and see if you can find some ideas that work for you. If not, ASK THE EXPERT! We are willing and able to help you - you just have to ask!

Remember - all you need to do is click on the link in the box above [and tell us the best time to call you, if you are in the USA.] Don't forget, we monitor our email constantly and can call you in the evening or during the weekend.

To your success,

Don Schwerzler

Managing Director

PS - Put the fun back into your family business - we can help by providing fair and balanced feedback and help you to protect your family business legacy, Why wait, ASK THE EXPERT now



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