Article Library



To Invest as Individuals or as a Family?

Published November 30, 1993 Gerald Cramer |

Owners of family businesses tend to focus much of their time and energy on just that—running a successful business. There are, however, strong pressures on families to properly invest their capital ...


Mom Is Still Mrs. Outside

Published November 30, 1993 Marcy Syms |

In startup companies of a generation ago, the husband would be in charge of making the product. He, or perhaps his brother, would go out and sell it. The wife would keep the books. She might continue...


How to Avoid Multiple Shareholder Madness

Published November 30, 1993 Randy Bliss |

Recently, a young man called me with a vexing problem. His father, Joe Johnson, had started a home construction company in Georgia 42 years ago, and with great effort had created a solid, profitable b...


Pushing Out the Service Envelope

Published November 30, 1993 Steven Grossman |

My grandfather, Maxwell Grossman, was a practical man. He had started our family’s business—the Massachusetts Envelope Co.—in 1910, and built it by building strong relationships. He also knew wh...


How Family Stories Shape the Business

Published November 30, 1993 Elizabeth Stone |

When i was growing up in Brooklyn, my father had a small business which consisted of anywhere from two to five stores—depending on the year—in downtown Manhattan. Though my father’s business was...


Protecting Your Company in Talks with a Buyer

Published November 30, 1993 Howard D. Scher |

The pattern of events is classic: A large multifaceted company finds that your business is an attractive candidate for acquisition. You have what it wants: a different market, specific customers, a un...


What Most Businesses Need Before an Outside Board

Published November 30, 1993 Donald J. Jonovic |

“No way” the chairman told me when I suggested creating an outside board for his electronics distribution company. We were working on a number of leadership transition issues with him and his two ...


Look Who's Out There on the Cutting Edge

Published November 30, 1993 Ernesto J. Poza |

While it may be hard to imagine an American city competing with Hong Kong in the marketing of custom-made suits, the city of Cleveland is, in fact, the center of a revolution in the way the suits are ...


How to Lose Control of the Bottom Line

Published August 30, 1993 Stan Luxenberg |

With a ball-point pen and steel nerves, a bookkeeper looted a family owned textile manufacturer. The scam took advantage of trusting employers who saw no reason to update their accounting system. ...


GRATs are Great--If Designed Right

Published August 30, 1993 Harris L. Sherman |

The resourceful business owner in today's economy is forced to be more receptive to the various vehicles, both simple and complex, that offer significant tax saving opportunities. Passing the busines...


Model Family Comebacks

Published August 30, 1993 Connecticut Mutual |

The high mortality rate of small businesses in America is well known, and in recent times countless family companies have been forced to the brink by stagnant markets, increased competition, and a cr...


A Domineering Father's Letter to his Son

Published August 30, 1993 Howard Muson |

In the annals of business families, there are a few classic examples of father-to-son letters that contain wise advice on preparing for careers in the family company. There are also letters that proba...


Owners Seek Profitability, Not Growth

Published August 30, 1993 Family Business |

Family businessowners are more concerned with improving profitability and reducing debt than they are with growing their companies, according to one of the largest surveys ever done of family busines...


Your Risks as a Board Member

Published August 30, 1993 John S. Powell |

Just before Christmas last year I received a frantic phone call from my Aunt Caroline, who told me that she had been named a defendant in a lawsuit. Aunt Caroline is 86 years old and until 1991 serve...


A Bigger Bang for your Life Insurance Buck

Published August 30, 1993 Mark J. Solomon |

Family business owners frequently agonize over the question of how to divide their estate equitably among their children when some of the heirs do not work in the business. In many such cases, the hus...


To Be or Not To Be Public

Published August 30, 1993 Lloyd E. Shefsky |

CAST OF CHARACTERS (in order of appearance) Ed Eliot: CEO, director, and son of the founder of the E-Light Company, a St. Louis lamp manufacturer that has recently developed expertise in laser app...


Future Leaders are Eager to be Tested

Published August 30, 1993 Leon Danco |

Many potential successors complain they are not being given enough authority in the business, that employees regard them skeptically as “the Little Prince” or “Snow White,” an...


Nepotism Revisited

Published August 30, 1993 David W. Ewing |

Nepotism: The word continues to stick to family businesses like the proverbial tar baby, stigmatizing them in the view of outsiders as somehow inbred, unprofessional, second-rate. Questions about nep...


Three Family Franchises that Work

Published August 30, 1993 Stephen J. Simurda |

Ten years ago, Sandy and Rod Rockwell took a cold look at their future. Sandy was a homemaker and young mother in Fremont, Nebraska, and her husband, Rod, was working at a nearby meat packing plant th...


Learning to Delegate by Degrees

Published August 30, 1993 Susan Lazar |

“Delegation deficiency” is not a phrase coined by psychologists, but it's a classic trait, especially among business owners who have a driving need to control. The impact can be devastati...