In this issue
The ambitions of the Dickey family have fueled the exponential growth of Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants Inc. The family's willingness to redefine the company's business model made the expansion possible.
Three generations and 76 years after the first Dickey's Barbecue Pit opened in a tiny location north of Dallas, the company is now the largest barbecue chain in America. The original store still operates as part of the chain.
How did a small African-American-owned homebuilder from Alabama end up as one of the leading construction companies in Philadelphia, Pa., whose projects have included major sites like the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles?
Whether your family oversees one or more operating companies or a family office that manages investable assets, the word "risk" usually connotes concepts such as overconcentration, lack of diversification and lock-up periods. But as social media use has taken the world by storm in the last 10 years, every family should also be considering potential risks to their reputation.
Despite seemingly blue skies and calm waters, family businesses, like boats on the ocean, face continual and potentially dangerous threats. The ultimate price for failure to prepare for and meet these threats is extinction. Unfortunately, this is the fate of most family businesses after the second generation.
As business families seek ever more effective ways to cultivate their next-generation leaders to meet tomorrow's challenges, many turn to educational institutions to deliver a robust business education—and to equip young people with the skills and insights to manage the opportunities and demands facing family enterprises.
At our recent Transitions East conference in Tampa, my husband and I had a real treat—our son Bill, who has been with our family business for several years and was recently named president, served on a panel. This was the first time Bill participated in our conference, and the topic, "The NextGen's Role in the Family Business" was right up his alley. It couldn't have been easy having his mother and father sitting in the audience, especially given our experience and background with family businesses, but Bill was quite impressive.
When family firms are compared favorably with non-family companies, a point often cited is family business owners' "patient capital." While many corporations are focused on maximizing shareholder profits quarter to quarter, family business owners are more willing to reinvest in the business for the future.
In a facility in Enumclaw, Wash.—near Mount Rainier and the Crystal Mountain ski area—a pair of next-generation entrepreneurs are distilling their ideas for a new business venture. Literally.
Brothers-in-law Sam Agnew and Tyler Teeple have spent 2 1/2 years building a craft distillery. Their custom-fabricated equipment is now up and running; whiskey, vodka, gin and flavored white whiskey are currently in production.