Family Business

We believe that strong families make for strong businesses.

Family-owned businesses are complex, integrated systems of family relationships enmeshed in a business. This creates unique issues and problems that are different from those experienced in non-family owned or managed companies.

We help clients work through the myriad of challenges that can limit the success of their family-owned business. Issues can include poor communication, succession, conflict among family members, and governance. It is important that an advisor be sensitive to family dynamics or both the business and the family will suffer.

The Gustafson Group maximizes both family harmony and shareholder value. We believe that strong families make for strong businesses.

As a Certified Family Business Advisor through Galliard Family Business Advisors, we have the tools and support to serve you and your family business.

We help families:

  • Develop a strategic plan that acknowledges the issues of both the family and the business
  • Develop succession plans that prepare future leaders for business success
  • develop a well-integrated comprehensive exit strategy for current leaders
  • Determine the current and desired future value of your business to maximize your investment

Many recent studies indicate that as many as 55+% of business owners will transition out of their current positions within the next 5 years and most have no formal plan to do so…

  • No successors
  • No financial plan
  • No solid options for considerations

With effective planning, both the family and the business can thrive through the inevitable
changes that impact every small business.

Interesting facts:

  • 95% of businesses in the US today are family-owned or closely-held.
  • 80% of those businesses have 20 or fewer employees.
  • Fewer than 15% have a solid plan for passing their business on to the next generation of leadership, even though 85% express a wish to do so!

MN Families In Businesses • Lunch & Learn • Roundtable Discussion
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 from 11:00am – 1:00pm | Pint Public House

Family Business Advising FAQ

How do Family businesses differ from other businesses?

Family businesses face the normal challenges any other business faces but also have to deal with deeply entrenched family dynamics. Keeping personal matters outside the business is key. Emotions need to be left at the door when dealing with family co-workers. Establishing boundaries and having clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and decision making guidelines can determine success or failure. Established clear and systematic channels for communications greatly improve chances of a good outcome as well. Many families craft a “family mission statement” that they use as their guide.

My daughter wants to join the business, what advice do you have?

First, congratulations. Second, have a plan in place before your son or daughter comes to work. There are many questions to be answered but here would be a few: What are your daughters expectations, short and long term for her employment with the company? Is it clear what her role will be and is it written down? How will performance be evaluated, by whom?

My children don't want to join my business, what options do I have?

If there is no interest from the younger generation it is of no use trying to force the issue. Often times, the younger generation goes off into the world and returns to the family business after having explored their options. But this is not always the case. Either way, letting children pursue their own dreams and providing encouragement for this decision preserves the personal relationship. Working with your professional management team to keep your business running smoothly is your best bet.

My Mother, the company founder, does not want to step aside. What can we do?

There may be many reasons your mother does not want to step away. These can range from “what would I do everyday if I didn’t come here?,” to financial concerns, to lack of faith in her successor. It all begins with a candid and structured conversation about needs, wants, goals for the future of all stakeholders.

I am already thinking about succession and I already have good professional advice. Why do I need a succession planner?

Teamwork is a critical component to succession planning. The best time to begin is now. A succession planner strives to ensure that your family, management team, attorney and CPA are all working in harmony.

I am thinking of creating an Advisory Board with some non-family members. How should I do this?

Properly constructed and implemented an advisory board consisting of non-family members can bring great insights to a family run business. Ultimately, it is your business so you make the final decisions.

I think my son has an addiction problem, what can I do?

Alcohol and drug abuse are a very common problem with the population as a whole. In a family business that might have festering issues already, an addicted family employee can be ticking time bomb. In addition, sometimes other family members want to sweep the problem under the rug due to the shame they feel or misunderstanding of the disease. The addict can only get better with help. The good news is that there are strategies that can be implemented to deal with this problem.

Get your family business back on track

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