Family Business

Upand Consulting, family business. Black and white photo, vineyard horse and cart in the mistAre You in a Family Business?

Family businesses are the backbone of our economy.  They have their own needs, opportunities and issues.  But governance of the family business is a much neglected subject.

The Dilemmas

How do we generate sustainable profits without all working ourselves into an early grave?  How do we give the business the resilience and adaptability to endure across generations?  How do we honour the founders without getting trapped in their business model as the world changes around us?  How do we transition ownership and control to a younger generation without destroying the value of the family business?  How do we act fairly to family members who do not want an active role in the business?  How do we get the best person in charge regardless of seniority?  How do we resolve differences about strategy?  How do we attract outside investment for growth, and not lose control?

Some Answers

I’ve been asked all these questions.  In some cases, a good board is exactly the right way to start building an answer.  A board can be a safe discussion forum, a sounding-board, a place to separate family and business issues, a deep pool of expertise, and more.

More often, a confidant, counsellor and facilitator can get the conversation going, and help the family move forward to definite plans.  In the most successful and long-lived family businesses, a formal board is usually part of those plans.

Important as the family is, it’s vital to start separating the family, with its cross-currents and dynamics, from the business itself.  This is a matter of mindset and practice.  Many a successful family business has made the transition to professional governance, professional management, enduring wealth for the family, and an appropriate role for all who want to contribute directly.

I can help.  I’m and Advisor Member of Family Business Australia, the peak national body for support, education, networking and advocacy for the family business sector.  I’ve worked with family businesses and helped them set up governance structures that serve their needs.

I love to see businesses and their leaders grow, succeed and excel themselves. Can I help you in this? Will we work well together? Contact me, let’s have that conversation and we’ll find out.

Resources

See my blog article here on Does a Family Company REALLY  Need a Board?

Discover the resources and peer support available through Family Business Australia.

And there are some thoughts here on how I can help with general management consulting.

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