Article Library



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...


What Your Banker Needs To Know

Published May 30, 1993 Bonnie M. Brown |

In late march, President Clinton announced changes in banking regulations which will allow banks to make more “character loans” to small business owners, loans that are based primarily on the borr...


'Why Does This Kid Want To Work?'

Published May 30, 1993 William G. Mennen IV |

When the family hierarchy decides to sell the business, members of the younger generation are often left out in the cold. I was caught in just such a situation, which few outsiders can, or want to, un...


Key Choices To Be Made Before Planning Starts

Published May 30, 1993 Peter Davis |

Succession planning has three objectives: to efficiently and fairly distribute assets from older to younger generations; to pass control of the business in a way that will ensure effective business le...


Is There a Cure for Managerial Burnout?

Published May 30, 1993 James E. Barrett |

Even successful, affluent, healthy CEOs can lead (in Henry David Thoreau's words) “lives of quiet desperation.” They're fresh out of challenges. They hate the business. They don't like the communi...


Family Employees Should Not Be Fireproof

Published May 30, 1993 Leon Danco |

Business owners tend to pussyfoot when faced with the necessity of firing a family member. They want to be loved, they agonize. They just don't like to fire anybody, let alone a relative: “If I fire...


How To Build A Dynasty

Published May 30, 1993 Howard Muson |

The Beretta family has been making guns for the world's armies, kings and princes, and sportsmen for nearly five centuries. They trace their origins to one Bartolomeo Beretta, born before 1498, one o...


Anticipating the Needs of the Grandkids

Published May 30, 1993 Mike Cohn |

After Mort Spahn and his wife, Shirley, sold their chain of toy stores they began working diligently on their estate plan. As part of the plan, Mort, 70, and Shirley, 66, wanted to do something for t...


Why Some Family Firms Need a Scapegoat

Published May 30, 1993 Suzanne Stier |

The Lowrey family owns an elite private school on 150 acres of land in California's Orange County. Along with the parents, Bill and Mary, the school's founders, three of the Lowreys' married children ...


Sweet Company, Bitter Fight

Published May 30, 1993 Charles Storch |

Last April The Chicago Tribune reported on a family feud at the Blommer Chocolate Co., a $150 million confection maker in Chicago. The battle between the heirs of two of the three brothers who founde...


Twelve Tasks in Succession

Published May 30, 1993 Ivan Lansberg |

In my first session with owners of a family business, I have a simple, quick way of assessing how much thought they have given to continuity planning. After interviewing the power-holders individuall...


The Immortals

Published May 30, 1993 Howard Muson |

This october leaders of 25 of the world's oldest business dynasties will meet in Germany. They call themselves Les Hénokiens, after the Biblical patriarch Enoch, and they claim to comprise the...


Guarding the Family Name

Published May 30, 1993 Ellen Hawkes |

Ernest and Julio Gallo have built the world's largest wine empire. Poor when their parents died in 1933, they turned the family grape-growing business into a winery in Modesto, California, and raised...