Family Owned Business Issues
(Contact  information  below)

A business ends when the owner sets fire to it. A sports team is sold out of the family in order to pay estate taxes. Father and son can’t work together. Son leaves and becomes dad’s main competitor. Any of this sound familiar? Scenarios like this happen all too often. It used to be common to think that there were only two main factors involved:

(1) Failure to plan

(2) Inadequate and inappropriate communication

 Every business failure could be accredited to them, to some degree. It is time to expand the list and make it more practical.

 Causes of Failure

Cash Flow Shortages

Transfer of Ownership Landmines 

Business Practices

Inadequate Estate Planning

Management Succession Problems 

Family Behavior Patterns


Personal Issues


The   Freeman   Institute's
~   Professional Services   ~

Leadership Succession and Business Continuation Planning

 Three key factors govern a successful family business transfer:

a plan for leadership succession and business continuation
the management of both business and family assets
a family vision for leaving a lasting legacy

Vision, Mission, Core Values & Operating Principles
Family and Business Assessments
Key Leadership/Followership Development
Problem Solving
Decision-Making Skills
Employee Retention Planning
Ownership Transition Planning
Family Issues
Conflict Resolution
Understanding Personality Dynamics


Strategic Management

Organizational Culture Change
Human Resource Development
Advisory Board Selection / Development
Family Non-Profit Organization

Family-Owned Business Mediation Service


Strategic thinking and methodical planning are always vital to the success of any business. They are critical during times of change. Since the structure of family business is represented by three distinct, but interlocking systems, (the family, the business, and the ownership) an integrated method of priority planning is essential.

 A Voluntary Process
Hard On Problems, Soft on People
Saves Time and Money
Private With Confidential Results
"Win-Win" Solutions
Tailored Resolutions
Enhances Communications
Improves Relationships


 Cash Flow Shortages for




--operating expenses


--estate taxes

--your lifestyle

--medical expenses

Inadequate Estate Planning


--unwillingness to face mortality and the reality of estate taxes

--belief that fair means equal

--unfinished and uncoordinated legal and financial planning

--unorganized, messy and unprotected or unsigned documents

--distrust of insurance agents

Management Succession Problems


--absence of vision or failure to communicate that vision

--paying people what they need, not what they're worth

--failure to appoint a successor

--inadequate training of successors

--gender and age prejudice

--differing values between generations, especially related to

--work ethic

--one-person show as principal management style

Personal Issues


--belief that disability will never happen to me or mine    

--addiction -- to drugs, alcohol, work

--obsession with control

--resistance to change

--lack of attention to personal health


--dangerous hobbies

Family Behavior Patterns


--shoving conflict under the rug

--meddling in the business when it's not your job

--unethical and/or illegal behavior

--belief that only "sick" families seek therapy

--pretending you've talked about hidden agendas

--petty arguments about who did what, when, and to whom

--trying to maintain harmony at all costs

--secrecy -- the family doesn't have a clue what's going on

--talking about business at every meal

Transfer of Ownership Landmines


--no buy-sell agreement

--by-sell agreements with no price or valuation formula specified

--no way to fund buy-sell agreements

--inability of family member to manage assets

--belief that fair means equal ownership among heirs

--secrecy -- when it keeps stakeholders


Business Practices


--lack of attention to business

--employees stealing you blind

--keeping unproductive people on the payroll

--tunnel vision -- absence of checks and --balances

--unwillingness to diversify for fear of --violating the original


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