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Key Issues for Successful Family Owned Businesses

Oct 31, 2019

Lisë Stewart, principal-in-charge of EisnerAmper’s Center for Family Business, shares critical insights into key concepts that can help keep family owned businesses going strong.  


Lisë Stewart: Hello, I'm Lisë Stewart from EisnerAmper and we're so excited about our recent summit series. I hope you could join us. We learned a lot and one of the things that we learned is that many of our privately held businesses are just facing a wide range of challenges, the never ending changes in technology, the cybersecurity threats, the impacts with tariffs, the changing weather and divided nation, political upheaval, relentless passing of time. In fact, it’s sometimes forcing our baby boomers to say, I've had enough. I need to get out of this business. We want you to know you're really not alone. To help you with these challenges, we're very pleased to offer our summit series every year. It's a chance for you to learn new information, meet new people, and perhaps find some of the answers to the challenges that you're facing today. This year we really emphasize the steps that many of our family owned and closely held businesses need to take in order to be able to protect their business, protect their families, and protect their wealth.

Are you clear about those values? Do your children understand the values? Would they be able to pass those values onto their next generation? It seems to be a very important component to making sure that we keep our businesses and our families together. The second thing that seemed to come up as being really important was to develop both your business skills and your family skills. Many businesses know the types of business skills that they've really got to be able to develop over time, whether it's financial market, product development, and so on. But did you know that it's just as important that the family develop some skills so that they can improve communication, make sure that they understand the impacts of the business on the family, make sure that they understand what are the foundations of conflict resolution and building family harmony. Build the family skills at the same time as you're building those business skills.

The next thing that seemed to be really important was as your business grows and we developed the capacity within the business, that we also develop the capabilities of your people. As businesses grow and change, we need a different level of sophistication. Businesses that are able to survive from one generation to the next, pay attention to making sure that everybody's skills are improving over time so that we have the knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies that are necessary, not just for today, but for the business of the future. Finally, businesses that survive from one generation to the next, while paying attention to that business, they understand that families matter, that nurturing those relationships are really important. Because over time, if those relationships are not strong, solid, healthy, harmonious, then the shine of that business can wear off pretty quickly.

Here at EisnerAmper, we'd really like to help and we truly do wish you the very best for your family business from one generation to the next. Thank you.

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