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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Family Business Consulting

Family Business Consulting resources provided by Atlanta-based Family Business Institute offer tips and success strategies for family businesses

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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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Family Business Experts

Family Business Experts is the best family business resource on the Internet. We offer hundreds of great strategies and tips for families in business together.

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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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Functional Alcoholic

A functional alcoholic is a person fighting alcoholism without the classic signs of full blown alcoholism.

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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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Succession Management

The single best succession management strategy is to create an advisory board. Learn why,and how in this interview with a succession management expert.

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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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Professional Intervention in the Family Owned Business

Professional intervention to resolve family business disputes is an effective strategy because running a successful family business is substantially more complex than running a non family business.

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Chaos Busters

Chaos Busters - The Management Guide provides questions that will make your organization more effective, efficient and scalable

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Crisis Management

Crisis Management is another reason for a family business owner to reach out to a family business executive coach. In a family business, problems that arise in the business will impact the family and family problems can impact the business. Examples include the death or incapacitation of the owner, divorce, drug and alcohol addiction can have devastating legal consequences to the business and the family. Unresolved family problems in a family business can wreck the business and destroy family relationships. Business disruption problems caused by floods, fires, hurricanes or pandemics such as Covid-19 force the business owner to consider re-opening in very different circumstances – or maybe not even opening at all… A family business executive coach can make a huge contribution to the health and well being of the business and the family.

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Crisis Management

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Family Business Executive Coach

Our family business executive coach can help a family business realize its true potential - helping businesses perform better and improve the value proposition

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Leadership Assessment

Leadership assessment is an important practice for every family business.

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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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Don Schwerzler Interview

Don Schwerzler founded the Family Business Institute in the early 80’s. Headquartered in Atlanta, it became the very first multi-disciplined, full service resource for family-owned businesses.

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Avoiding Forced Liquidation

Exit planning is necessary because a family business owner will transfer their business interest - either during his/her lifetime... or when they die or become incapacitated.

Every year many family businesses, without proper exit planning, have to be liquidated - and liquidation under these forced circumstances results in "fire-sale" prices.

There are still only five ways to transfer your business interest.

Transfer Ownership To Your ChildrenSale To Other Owners Or EmployeesSale To A Third PartyOrderly LiquidationTake it public with an IPO

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Avoiding Forced Liquidation

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Alcoholism and the Family Business

Alcoholism is a disease that can hurt family businesses when a key family member is losing the battle with alcohol addiction

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CHANGE: Challenge For Family Businesses

Family business owners learn to wear many hats – operations, sales, marketing, accounting, finance, human resources – you get the point.

But in addition to dealing with the normal problems associated with running a successful business, family business owners also have to deal with the unique and complex issues involved with succession and other critical family business issues including family feuds, organizational development, career management and development for the next generation, sales, marketing and business development, innovation, compensation, work performance, governance, leadership and estate equalization, just to name a few…

Given all this, it is easy to understand why change and innovation often comes slowly to a family business!

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CHANGE: Challenge For Family Businesses

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Succession Planning Survey

Use this succession planning survey along with Don Schwerzler's no-cost assessment to help you beat the dismal 30% odds that your family business will transition to the next generation.

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Family Business Institute

Family Business Institute is Atlanta based and founded by Don Schwerzler - provides success strategies for family businesses

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Dysfunctional Family Businesses

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. Advising family businesses is our expertise!

Family Business Expert

Family Business Expert Don Schwerzler offers success strategies for family businesses

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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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"Battleground" Describe Your Family Business?

A battleground can result in the family business from mixing good family behaviors with an effective business system.

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Coronavirus Business Recovery Strategies

developing a coronavirus business recovery strategy can help the business survive.

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Family Business Resource Center

Let’s face a simple truth - it is hard to have a successful business when the family is not able to work well together!

On the other hand, just because a family works well together does not mean that the family’s business will grow and prosper. Obviously the key to running a successful family business is when the family business owner is able to solve problems for both the family and the business – and that can be hard to accomplish.

Successful family business entrepreneurs tend to be good risk managers – they are confident they can tackle any type of problem. But what happens when they are working a problem and they have exhausted all they know to do? Where can the family business owner turn when they need help?

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Family Business Resource Center

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Nexters

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

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Family Business Feuds

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!

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Family Business Feuds

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Family Business Advisor

Family business advisor Don Schwerzler, top family business expert and founder of the Family Business Institute has been studying and advising family businesses for more than 40 years.

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Future Proof Your Family Business

Do you have a strategy in place to future proof your family business?“That is a question every family business owner should be asking – and answering,” according to leading family business expert Don SchwerzlerIn general, our political leaders, at all levels of government, have failed to take effective action to reduce government spending and to eliminate debt. Not hard to understand when one realizes that more than 50% of the people in the US do not pay taxes; entitlement programs are out of control; borders are not secure from illegal immigration and other security threats.“So don’t expect your government to protect your family business – every family business should be taking immediate action to “future proof” their family business,” notes Schwerzler.

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Future Proof Your Family Business

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Southern Business Research

Southern Business Research strategies enable businesses to improve growth and profits

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Ask the Family Business Expert

Ask The Family Business Expert - Here's your chance to ask our family business expert about issues and concerns you may have about your family business.

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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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Asset Protection

Asset protection usually seeks to minimize and delay what creditors and government can obtain in order to maximize what beneficiaries receive.

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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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Advisory Board Benefits Family Business

An advisory board made up of experienced outsiders brings a fresh perspective to problems and opportunities that face both the family and the family business.

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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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nuts.com

Nuts.com is a third generation family business that has successfully transitioned the company into an online-business

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Succession Management

“Family business entrepreneurs may have a vision and maybe even a formal business plan but rarely will they have an ‘integrated strategy’ re succession management for their business,” notes family business strategy master Don Schwerzler.

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Succession Management

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family business entrepreneurs

Family business entrepreneurs drive the American economy

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PAYING IT FORWARD