In January 2021 we have been discussing five challenges of family businesses. Most dialogue about family business challenges centers around the needs of the family members. Non-family employees hold essential roles within most companies, however. If they are not valued, consulted, and compensated fairly, they will leave for other opportunities, and the company will suffer the loss of their intellectual capital and experience.
In December 2020 we have explored the topic of succession planning and training the next generation for their future in the business. While many people associate succession planning with preparing family members for their future leadership roles, it also includes other roles within the company. Proactive CEOs will attract and prepare their workforce to fill all key roles in the organization from top to bottom so the company is anti-fragile and ready for any eventuality.
In November 2020 we have explored the topic of corporate governance. Effective governance requires that people in all leadership positions within an organization understand their roles and responsibilities and take them seriously. Companies that want to be stronger, more ethical, more productive, and more profitable should analyze their leadership structure and make changes as necessary to ensure they can survive internal difficulties, economic downturns, or a leadership transition. Ultimately, good governance benefits everyone associated with the company.
In October 2020 we have focused on how the values of the different generations active in the workplace at this time – Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials – play into the generation gap. Working to resolve those differences and utilize the strengths of these generations can help preserve and grow family businesses. Technology is one area where younger generations can successfully take the lead.
In September 2020 we have focused on the importance of a high performance sales team to any business. We also discussed how to push your sales team members to enhance their skills and be more effective. One way to make this happen is to create a sales playbook. This playbook should be continuously updated as your sales team learns from their mistakes and successes and market conditions and company objectives shift over time.
In August 2020 we have been focusing on how to protect business value by being proactive about insurance, data security, liability, and succession planning. There are so many ways a company can be vulnerable, including hacking, lawsuits, bad weather or civil unrest, and internal strife between owners, family members, and/or employees. Becoming aware of these threats and then taking steps to mitigate them will protect your company in the short term, allowing it to build value over time.
In July 2020 we have been focusing on how to begin the process of transferring leadership of a family business to children in preparation for an eventual transfer of ownership. This process, when done correctly, takes years and provides the next generation the skills and experience they need to successfully continue the mission of the company.
In June 2020 we have been focusing on the need to carefully examine business expenses, especially for companies that are struggling financially. When the economy is robust and companies are growing, owners worry less about what exactly they are spending money on. When the economy is in recession or a unique event like COVID-19 occurs, companies go into survival mode. That’s when they need to determine what expenses count as essential and what can be pared back or eliminated to save money and keep the business going. This kind of examination helps triage in the short term and creates growth in the long run.
Our topic for May 2020 has been the need for financial planning. Creating a financial plan is a crucial part of building business value and pursuing growth in the present as well as successfully transitioning to new leadership and ownership farther down the line. It may take an investment of time and effort, but it will make all the difference in your eventual outcome.
Our topic for April 2020 has been creating family alignment. Many problems that family businesses confront may seem to business owners like isolated issues but really stem from a lack of alignment between family members. When they correct the alignment problems, the entire business runs more smoothly. If you’re wondering how it’s possible to create better family alignment, read on.