Family Business Help
If you are a family business owner seeking family business help – you have come to the right place! Our team of family business experts help solve family business issues! We routinely solve the unique and complex issues that confront family businesses – especially those issues that confront the family and impact the family business at succession time.
If you are a business owner and are reluctant to ask questions about your business, you are not alone! A major issue for many family business owners: asking for help!
There are a lot of stories about how men are reluctant to read the directions before starting to do an assembly or not asking for directions when they are lost!
According to one study by an insurance firm in Britain, the average male driver travels about 276 extra miles a year because of not wanting to ask for help!
According to family business expert Don Schwerzler, one could make many of the same observations about family business entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to seeking family business help!
“Family business entrepreneurs are a special breed of men and woman,” notes Schwerzler. “When they are starting their family business, there is usually a scarcity of time and money so they learn to make do without getting help from others. They tend to be very independent and generally very passionate about ‘my way is the best way’ when establishing the policies, practices and procedures that determine how their business will be run.”
For more than 40 years Schwerzler has been providing family business help to family business owners to grow their businesses, significantly; helping family businesses to maintain healthy family relationships; and then when the time is right, to help transition the family's business from one generation to the next – or to prepare the business for sale if that is the better option for the owner. He is the founder of Atlanta-based Family Business Institute and the web organization Family Business Experts.com
Schwerzler makes the argument that family business entrepreneurs tend to self-treat medical issues rather than going to a doctor; they get legal advice from family and friends rather than consulting with an attorney; they rely on “industry averages” to gauge and measure the operational performance of their company rather than defining the true potential of the business.
And when they do reach out to professional service providers for family biz help – they often get “sequential solutions” – the accountant suggests accounting solutions; the lawyers suggest legal solutions; financial planners suggest insurance solutions. Often this creates "analysis paralysis" and the resulting “gridlock” means wasted time and money for the family business owner.
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!
“But it doesn’t have to be that way,” says Schwerzler. “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.
There are a number of on-line resources that provide “business shortcuts” as well. One site we recommend has an incredible number of smart business ideas that provide family business help – documents that help create the infrastructure that provides the foundation for sustained growth.
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.
Finding family business help can be a real challenge. A family business must deal with the normal business problems, but the family business dynamic part of the equation can be very complex – inter and intra generational issues. Often these issues are emotionally charged and left unaddressed, can destroy the business and wreck family relationships.
Conducting our Family Business Assessment is the first step in providing family business help. “The process is simple and straight forward – it enables us to be an advocate for each of the family members as well as being an Ombudsman for the business – to make sure the family does not kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs,” says Schwerzler.
The Assessment provides a benchmark – to help define and envision the true potential of the business then charting a path to achieving those objectives. For instance, a family business could be in a position to capture market share but lacks the “connections” to financial resources – our Family Business Finance Expert can help make dreams a reality.
For some family businesses, selling the business may be a better option than passing the business to the next generation. Family businesses that have not done a good job of preparing the business for sale end up selling the business at "fire-sale" prices. If you are planning for retirement and are thinking about selling your business - consulting with our Family Business Marketing Expert will help maximize the transaction.
"WITHOUT A GOOD QUESTION A GOOD ANSWER HAS NO PLACE TO GO..."