Winter 2002

  • Winter 2002

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In this issue

  • Who can top the Smith brothers?

    Can entrepreneurial instincts be transmitted from one generation to the next? And can entrepreneurial types co-exist within the same office?

    We're all familiar with those horror stories of hard-driving parents who crushed or spoiled their kids. But now consider the Smith family of Kentucky and Georgia.

    • Steve Smith, 56, started a car wash at age 26 in his Kentucky hometown, sold it in the '80s, then launched a business hauling steel coils by rail.

  • Everything you always wanted to know about family business (but were afraid to ask)

    Why did succession take place easily at the family bakery?
    The parents were good roll models.

    Have you heard about the family landscapers who specialize in freeways?
    They found a happy median.

    Why does transition often take place over “a few beer”?
    It's a decision pint.

    Why was the younger generation so stressed out?
    Their parents taut them to be.

    How did the auto wrecker's children finance the transition?
    They scrapped together some money, thus proving their metal.

  • No time to hide in a cave, but ...

    Before September 11, several of my family business clients had mapped out clear plans for growth and financing. Lately they've been calling me with a deceptively simple question, which every business owner should be asking: Should we do anything differently?

    Unless you're in the security or construction business, the consensus seems to be that the events of September 11 caused an economic slowdown. As I told my clients, there are several ways any company must prepare for economic uncertainty—and one extra issue family businesses must confront.

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