Family Business Topics

The family business normally doesn’t need something to talk about.  The interaction of the members seems to bring out issues of opinions, whose right & wrong, what’s the best way to deal with a customer and many more for the imagination.  The other day someone asked me what I thought were the most critical issues to a family business.  When I started thinking about the important issues I realized that you can’t separate big from small, light from dark and critical from incidental when working with a family business.  Any issue has the potential to cause a minor scrap to a major explosion.  So I give you these issues with no ranking in importance and certainly not to be considered all-inclusive.

  1. What is the business plan?
  2. Who is the Boss?
  3. Will a democracy work?
  4. How do we train the new generation?
  5. In the Hierarchy, where are non-family employees?
  6. Ownership – Gift or Sell to the members?
  7. Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  8. Buy-Sell Agreements
  9. Division of Duties – Specialize or Rotate?
  10. When should Dad & Mom quit?

Have fun discussing some of the issues and maybe used it as a starting point for the family retreat agenda.

As always, your comments are encouraged and welcomed


 Bob Barkett,


Leave a Reply