Family Business Blog



The Family Business Blog [short for "web log"] is our mini-journal about Family Business Experts. It lets you know...

  • whenever we add or update pages at the Family Business Experts web site
  • about new products and services that we are bringing online
  • about features and specials that are available from time to time
  • when FBE principals are in the news
  • when we issue our Understanding Family Business e-zine newsletter (for those of you who don't like to give your e-mail address, or if your ISP's filters are too aggressive and cause you to lose mail). The e-zine is posted to the web site as well as being e-mailed, so you can click right to it from this blog. Easy!
Check out our blog archive.






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Innovation Drives Entrepreneurship

Innovation drives entrepreneurship – first the vision then the mission.

For many family businesses, innovation drives the early years of the family business. The following generations often tend to be caretakers rather than innovators. Not paying sufficient attention to “innovation” within their business, their industry and in their market place may be one of the contributing factors why so many family businesses fail to transition into being generational family businesses.

It is often argued that successful family businesses become more risk-adverse as the company matures. In that process, the concept of innovation does not get proper attention, support or funding.

When coaching Family Business Innovation, the ultimate challenge is achieving balance between the “traditions” of the family’s business with “innovative” ideas and business practices that will enhance the growth, profit and sustainability of the family’s business.

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Innovation Drives Entrepreneurship

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Risk Management Insurance

Risk management insurance should be considered as part of the risk management plan for every family business

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Client Testimonials

Our client testimonials speak volumes about how we do business and have helped our clients.

These client testimonials are from a broad spectrum of family-owned businesses, large and small, that we have been privileged to serve. To protect the confidentiality of our clients and the special nature of our work, we do not release any specific client information.

"Our mission is to help family businesses grow, maintain healthy family relationships and then, when the time is right, to help manage the transition from one generation to the next," says top family business expert Don Schwerzler

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Client Testimonials

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Exit Planning

Exit planning is necessary because you will transfer your business interest - either during your lifetime, or you will die or become incapacitated. Learn how to avoid the chaos of forced liquidation.

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Re-Organizing The Family's Business

One of the fears for many family business owners, who have had to reduce the number of employees because of COVID-19 is that many employees may find employment elsewhere and will force the businesses, when they go back to business, to hire and train new employees - in what had been a previously tight labor market.

“So, the question they may want to ask is how to better organize the business for the future. The first step would be to re-vision the family business - not just rebuilding the family business,” notes family business expert Don Schwerzler.

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Re-Organizing The Family's Business

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Future Proof Your Family Business

As a family business owner, what are you doing to future proof your family business?

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COVID-19 Working Remotely

Building Trust is a primary objective for family businesses investing in team building initiatives. With the surge in “working at home” situations brought on by Covid-19. Behavioral Assessments can be a huge influencer in making effective changes in the workplace – and especially team members working remotely.

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COVID-19 Working Remotely

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Family Business Experts.com

Family Business Experts is a content-rich site that includes hundreds of pages of tips and success strategies for families in business together.

Our goal is to help family businesses grow, to help maintain healthy family relationships - and then, when the time is right, to help transition the business to the next generation OR to prepare the business for sale, if that is the best exit strategy for the owner.

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Family Business Experts.com

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Business Plan Template - Your Key to Success

A good business plan template is essential. Need one? Have one that isn't working well? Make your family business' plan your template for success.

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Chaos Busters Management Guide

CHAOS BUSTERS - THE MANAGEMENT GUIDE is an innovative approach to make a business more effective QUICKLY!

If you were to create a list of "160 Key Business Questions" you could ask yourself (and your management team!) "how best" to build better growth and profit strategies for your business - what would those 160 key business questions be?

If you were going to create 160 "topics" on which you could use to develop a training or team building guide for your management team - what would those 160 topics be?

If you were going to create 160 "categories" for your management team to investigate when they are doing a SWOT Analysis of their areas of responsonsibility - what would those 160 categories be?

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Chaos Busters Management Guide

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Client Testimonials

Our client testimonials speak volumes about how we do business and have helped our clients.

These client testimonials are from a broad spectrum of family-owned businesses, large and small, that we have been privileged to serve. To protect the confidentiality of our clients and the special nature of our work, we do not release any specific client information.

"Our mission is to help family businesses grow, maintain healthy family relationships and then, when the time is right, to help manage the transition from one generation to the next or to help prepare the business for sale, if that is the better option for the owner" says top family business expert Don Schwerzler

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Family Business Forum

The Family Business Forum provides a Peer Advisory Group (PAG) platform for family business owners to offer tips and strategies to other family business owners.

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Succession Management Process

Our SUCCESSION MANAGEMENT PROCESS has gained international recognition.

The most frequent question we are asked at workshops and seminars is: "When is the best time to start planning for succession?"

According to Don Schwerzler a pioneer in dealing with family business dynamics, the best answer is: "Now!"

We were asked by Families in Business to describe our succession management process, which we do from the most important perspective - our client's!

FAMILIES IN BUSINESS is a prestigious magazine published in London, England, and distributed to large family businesses around the globe.

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Succession Management Process

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Nexters

Nexters and the succession process - succession is not a spectator sport!

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Funding the Cost of Succession

Funding Family Business Succession - A good rule of thumb: The business needs to grow by at least 20 percent more than the normal growth pattern to offset the costs of succession & the cost of inflation without disrupting business cash flow & profitabilityfamily-business-experts.com/family-business-strategy-master.html

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Funding the Cost of Succession

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Community Foundations: Make Family Foundations a Reality

Community foundations provide an umbrella under which to develop your family foundation without the red tape, hassles and cost. 18 questions answered in this interview with a CF executive director.

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Conflict Negotiations

Conflict negotiations in a family business are complex because they involve family, management and ownership issues.

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Fight, Freeze or Flee?

If you are a family business owner, or a member of a family in business together, and you are being confronted by tough issues - we can help.

"Fight or Flee" are two basic instincts hard wired into our brains. Family business owners have to deal with another instinct - to "freeze" - to hope that if they wait long enough, troubling issues will resolve themselves and the owner can return to when the business ran well and the family enjoyed peace and harmony.

"Family business problems rarely go away when they are not addressed - just the opposite, the problems tend to get worse and end up wrecking family relationships and destroying the business," says family business expert Don Schwerzler.

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Fight, Freeze or Flee?

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Biggest Fear of Family Business Owners

Every business has risk factors that can affect outcomes – but the single biggest fear shared by family business entrepreneurs are not those external risk factors in the marketplace – it is the fear of self-inflicted internal problems caused by a family member(s) – those problems that fracture relationships with other family members, employees, customers, vendors and strategic partners.

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Biggest Fear of Family Business Owners

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Business Communication - Many Channels to Navigate

Business communication is always an important function that family businesses need to manage with a clear vision and strategy.

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Resolving Family Business Problems

"Family business dynamics can be tricky - even a simple issue can escalate into a major problem that can ruin family relationships and hurt the family's business," notes family business expert Don Schwerzler.

If you are a family business owner, or a member of a family in business together, and you are being confronted by tough issues - we can help.

"Fight or Flee" are two basic instincts hard wired into our brains. Family business owners have to deal with another instinct - to "freeze" - to hope that if they wait long enough, troubling issues will resolve themselves and the owner can return to when the business ran well and the family enjoyed peace and harmony.

"Family business problems rarely go away when they are not addressed - just the opposite, the problems tend to get worse and end up wrecking family relationships and destroying the business," says Schwerzler.

Taking advantage of an opportunity to talk with an experienced and trusted family business expert can be the first step to resolving the problems that are hurting your business and creating disharmony in your family. Why wait? We can help!

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Resolving Family Business Problems

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Legal Forms

Legal forms can help formalize the management style of a family business

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Dealing With Alcoholism in a Family Business

Dealing with alcoholism in a family business is a tough and complex problem that can wreck the family and destroy the family's business

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Family Business Strategies

“The family business entrepreneur may have a vision and maybe even a formal business plan but rarely will they have a “strategy” for the business,” notes family business strategy master Schwerzler.

“The entrepreneurial mindset is such that if/when “something comes up” (good or bad), we can deal with it! This creates a management style that can/will impose a glass ceiling on the growth and profitability of the business simply because the family business owner spends more time ‘working in the business’ rather than ‘working on the business’”. The key to breaking this cycle is a commitment from the business owner to build the infrastructure of the family’s business.

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Family Business Strategies

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COVID19 Recovery Questions?

COVID19 Recovery Strategies - Many family businesses are only reacting to virus re-opening “guidelines” (tactics) but avoiding taking action on long-term organizational changes (strategies) involving digital transformation.

Family business owners should be taking time to re-think how their business is being managed long term, not just making "cosmetic" changes for the short-term.

Family business owners needing a "sounding board" - we can help!

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COVID19 Recovery Questions?

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Family Business Productivity

When one “unbundles” all of the many different functions that are involved in running a family business, it can be daunting. Think of producing the product or service, finance, accounting, sales, HR, marketing and business development, insurance relationships, banking relationships, vendor relationships – and customer relationships.

The family business owner may know “how” each one of these work functions or departments are managed – but how are they connected? How are they aligned with the short and long term objectives of the family’s business? Those are the types of questions that will be raised by a family business strategy master.

Sun Tzu proclaimed:

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat"

If the work functions are not linked, as part of the management of the business, then the business does not have an effective, business building strategy. This ends up in situations where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing – and thereby creating confusion and wasted energy that negatively impacts the effectiveness of the business and creates a barrier to the business reaching its true potential.

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Family Business Productivity

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Family Business Consulting Team

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!

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Family Business Consulting Team

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Search Our Entire Site

Our search form will open up the entire site to you in moments. The navigation index will show you the entire site at a glance.

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Hiring Tip: A Predictive Index for Success

A challenge (think frustration) for many family business owners is closing the gap between the visionary entrepreneur and the management team. The entrepreneur may have a great idea – but does not have the right people onboard to implement new innovations in strategy and practices of the business. The quickest way to close that gap is using a proven strategy based on science and analytics – Behavioral Assessments. Likewise, the on-boarding process for new managerial talent is critical – it will determine the future success of the business!

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Hiring Tip: A Predictive Index for Success

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Family Business Resource

All too many family business owners waste time and money re-inventing the wheel – they aren’t able to take advantage of the experiences ‘learned’ by other family business owners.” In fact, many family businesses are "analytically impaired" in that they are not using internal analytics to make better fact-based decisions.

Family business expert Don Schwerzler is an interesting “learning resource” for family business owners. When it comes to family business help, he is a master strategist. He has helped hundreds of family businesses reach their true potential. Some of our testimonials help to illustrate the bandwidth of his knowledge and experience in dealing with family business problems, including strategies to more effectively engage the Nexters as the business prepares to transition from one generation to the next.

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Family Business Resource

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Professionalizing Family Business Management

Professionalizing family business management is the most difficult and emotionally destructive problem confronted in family businesses. Learn how to handle it by evolution rather than revolution.

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Family Business Executive Roundtable

Our online Family Business Executive Roundtable is designed to provide family business owners a platform from which they can discuss problems and issues with other family business owners as well as experts who deal with solving those difficult and complex issues that arise out of family business dynamics.

The online Family Business Executive Roundtable is both philosophical as well as practical – a time to learn and a time to reflect on basic goals and objectives – finding that balance between personal and professional development. And achieving that critical balance between family and business!

Discussion topics discussed in our Family Business Executive Roundtable range from the usual issues that confront a family business such as succession planning, family feuds, drug and alcohol addiction, dispute resolution techniques, organizational development, marketing and business development, etc. – to contemporary issues like dealing with COVID19 where succession concerns may be taking a back burner to concerns about the survival of your family business…!

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Family Business Executive Roundtable

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Family Business Trouble Shooter

Don Schwerzler has been studying and advising family business entrepreneurs since 1967 – a career span of more than 50 years as a family business troubleshooter.

“If there is any one lesson I have learned in working with many hundreds of family businesses, it is that every family business is unique and complex in its own way,” says Schwerzler.

“Troubleshooting in a family business can be like being in a room of mirrors - each reflection or memory is slightly altered, each in a different way - for every member of the family.”

“For a family business troubleshooter, it is often difficult to identify reality from carefully constructed and long-held memories, even fantasies - and difficult to discern cleverly worded fictions,” notes Schwerzler.

We invite you to explore our site, Family Business Experts. It is the highest ranked, full service family business resource on the Internet.

Family Business Experts is a content-rich site that includes hundreds of pages of tips and success strategies for families in business together.

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Family Business Trouble Shooter

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Conflict Negotiations

“Family businesses generally start out with a very informal management system. The loose and informal style of management offers a high degree of flexibility – not of lot of rules, regulations and red tape. There are not many standard polices and practices to get in the way of the entrepreneurial spontaneity associated with start-up family businesses,” suggests leading family business expert Don Schwerzler.

“However, many family businesses never evolve beyond this level of management style. It is one of the reasons that only about 30% of family businesses successfully transition to the second generation; only about 12% successfully transition to the third generation; and only about 4% successfully make it to the fourth generation.”

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Conflict Negotiations

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Family Business Expert Don Schwerzler

Family Business Experts offers a broad range of tips and success strategies to address the spectrum of unique and complex problems that impact family businesses.

If you have a problem that is threatening your family business, you have come to the right place for help according to leading family business expert Don Schwerzler

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Family Business Expert Don Schwerzler

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Site Build It Information

Site Build It information points ot how you can have much more than a web site - make it a web business!

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Suffering From Analysis Paralysis?

As a family business executive coach and advisor, Schwerzler found that far too many family businesses suffer what he refers to as "sequential solutions" when getting advice from the professional service providers that serve the family's business.

For instance, when a family business is operating in a crisis mode - problems in the business or problems in the family - the CPA may offer one approach based on their accounting expertise, the lawyer suggests a another approach based on their legal experience, the business consultant another approach based on their business operations expertise and the financial planner yet another approach based on their expertise in financial planning.

What the family business winds up with is "analysis paralysis"!

As a family business advisor and family business executive coach, I could see that what was missing was a methodology for "quarterbacking" the strategic resources represented by the professional service providers", says Schwerzler.

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Suffering From Analysis Paralysis?

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Family Succession Plan First

The family succession plan should recognize and accommodate the needs, goals and objectives of each family member. "The family's goals and objectives then become the basic building blocks for the development of the succession plan for the family's business," according to top family business expert Don Schwerzler "It is extremely important to first develop the family succession plan and then the succession plan for the family's business. Otherwise the business owner will spend a lot of time and money developing a business transition plan that will almost always fail to reach the desired results."

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Family Succession Plan First

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Wills and Trusts - the Basic Essentials of Estate Planning

Wills and trusts are two of the most basic tools of estate planning. In fact, a Will is the one essential tool - everyone should have one!

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PAYING IT FORWARD