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Author Archives for: Eric Gustafson

What is Governance in a Family Business?

This is the first in a series of articles on governance in a family business. Look for future articles to dive in a little deeper on important governance topics such as compensating, hiring and managing family members as well as governance structures. Family businesses are a foundation of the United States’ business community and even play [&hellip
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Use Family Vacations to Build Money Skills

Guest blogger Nathan Dungan, is the Founder and President of Share Save Spend® For over 25 years, Nathan has been a leader in the area of helping individuals and families align their values with their money decisions. Have you ever thought about using a family vacation as a way to help build important financial skills? [&hellip
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Don’t Drop the Baton! Pass it Onto the Next Generation of Leaders

In my experience, family business owners are a resilient bunch. Having survived a myriad of challenges over many years, they have an uncanny ability to come out on top. But how will they fare when it comes time to pass the baton to the next generation of leadership in their own business? Is the role [&hellip
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Can We Talk? The Importance of Effective Communication in the Family Business

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw – Research shows that 90% of all businesses in the United States are family owned and employ over 60% of the workforce. That is an impressive statistic! But sadly, most of these family owned businesses will not survive [&hellip
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Helping Family-Owned Businesses Transition Wealth to the Next Generation

I work with Chad Halbur at Cornerstone Trust to assist my clients in creating a family trust that helps to protect their assets and furthers their goals. Every family is unique and my clients work hard to manage their wealth according to their own unique values. I really appreciate Cornerstone’s focus and attention to detail [&hellip
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What Exactly is a Family Business Consultant?

Running a successful business is hard. Running a successful family business is even harder. Running a family business involves a unique set of challenges that are constantly evolving and transitioning as the business grows and later generations are included. Personality conflicts, as well as strategic, legal, and estate planning issues become even more complex when [&hellip
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Six Traits of a Winning Company

What makes a winning company? In my 25 plus years as an entrepreneur, I have had a front row seat to witness the performance of many businesses. I have seen companies rise and fall and those that rise to the top continuously demonstrate the mastery of the following six traits: Numbers There is an old [&hellip
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Great employees are as easy as A, B, C

As smart owner, you try to build a good team. How do you keep A players? What makes a good B player tick? When should you get rid of C players? ********* I grew up in northern Minnesota so I ended up playing my share of hockey. I tried out for many teams along the [&hellip
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Thinking Strategically

It’s a flat out myth that strategic planning services in Minneapolis need to be complicated, lengthy, and painful. In my experience, much of what is taught in business school is written for big companies. I like to think about strategic planning from a practical perspective. For example, is there a document (2-4 pages) I can [&hellip
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Not All Customers are Created Equal

Often times when I ask a business owner who their top 10 customers are, what type of margin they produce, and if those customers are doing more or less business than last year, I get a blank stare back. Or, “the sales manager has that data.” As a business owner, it is easy to get [&hellip
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