ADVICE FOR A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY BUSINESS
By James Olan Hutcheson, ReGeneration Partners
To many, a family business means conflict. Although family feuds often make headlines, it's surprising how many family-oriented businesses exist: About 75% of all business enterprises in the United States today are family owned and managed. This includes many CPA firms and, of course, a great number of their clients. Conflict is normal, and at times routine. It's only when conflict is not managed in a positive way that it becomes a destructive force. As an independent advisor, it is the CPA's role to provide sound advice to the family business, both from a financial and a practical perspective.
Managers of family businesses should reflect on their successes but never lose sight of how they can improve. Advice for a winning family business includes the following:
* Choose leaders that live a balanced life--not all work or all play.
Conflicts in any business are inevitable. It is important that owners and managers of family businesses recognize their uniqueness. Family businesses should ask the following questions: Has the family enjoyed working together? Has the business performed as expected? What core values can be used to strengthen the business and keep the family close? *
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