Listen to this audio recording of the Roundtable Discussion On Business Transition live and online April 18, 2018. With Eric Gilboord, CEO of WarrenBDC and Elisabeth Colson, Commercial Lawyer with Devry Smith Frank LLP
I didn't start out to become a family therapist. It just happened. If you're the Owner of a family business perhaps you can relate to this week's message.
Working with family business owners is fun, challenging and very rewarding for me. Their business and personal lives are intertwined. More interesting is when you add in partners (and their families) who also own and run the company. Another layer of complication. Blood family or work family they typically interact very much the same. They are family and that means holidays and special occasions together, personal conversations and typically some fighting. Sometimes resolved and sometimes not.
If they are fortunate, respectful of each other and work hard at it the experience can be quite wonderful. If not it can get messy. As with any family dynamic everyone has their role and typically home actions are seldom different from work actions.
To keep the peace, you've learned to accept and deal with their peculiarities, their specific needs and the lack of change - no matter how hard you try to accommodate them. People don't change and hoping they will is a common theme in family businesses. Sometimes it only affects the family. Often the behaviour can reach into the success of the company and have a very real negative impact on non family/owner staff.
At some point you will determine that it's time to deal with the idea of transition. This is where I come in. If you think what I've written so far is even close to the truth wait until you start the transition process. The opportunity for challenges multiplies exponentially. Issues and ideas that have been tabled in the past, now need to be dealt with. Ambitions come out and the jockeying for position heightens.
Family therapy is only one part of the process, but it can be as key to your success as cash flow, sales & marketing, human resources and production. You will be riding two sides of the same sword, family and business.
You may think you have the family side handled until the serious conversation starts about the business. Who will run what, who gets what and about a thousand other things you never thought you would be dealing with. This is why I take on the role of a 'family therapist' as well as a Transition Advisor.
To address the many family and business issues that can come up we've created the Custom Transition Roadmap. In our process, both sides are covered and one without the other is not advised. Remember it's a 'family business'.
If you'd like to know a little more about our Transition Roadmap please click here.
After speaking with several of my readers and clients about their holiday break, I learned that the common theme was using the time to think.
With a nod to Jeff Foxworthy the comic, here is my list.
If you're thinking about running out of time, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about who could carry on your legacy, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about staying or going, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about growing your business way bigger, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about what your life will be like after, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about spending more time with family, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about what's going to happen to your staff, vendors and customers, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about how much you don't know about transitioning, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about what a great ride it's been, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about not wanting to stop, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about how to download your decades of experience, expertise and contacts to a successor, you might be ready to start transitioning.
If you're thinking about not knowing where to start, you might be ready to call me. Eric 416-270-2466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not quite ready?
The world of selling a business is not black or white like some owners think. There are many shades of gray. You owe it to yourself and those close to you, to find out what your options are right now. Listen to my latest podcast now.
Download this free PDF copy of MOVING FORWARD. Please enjoy the benefits of 'Getting The Triple Effect'.
Cheers, Eric Gilboord
Family Offices Adding Staff As Direct Private Equity Investments Increase
Found in FIN alternatives Daily Newsletter www.finalternatives.com
May 8 2017 | 9:03pm ET
More than half of family offices now have at least two employees dedicated to sourcing and vetting private equity investments, according to a new survey from Family Office Exchange, and four out of five have at least one.
The data was published in the organization’s 2017 FOX Global Investment Survey, which polled 118 family offices on a number of issues including asset allocation, performance, passive versus active investing in long-only equity, investment trends, current economic outlook, and financial challenges.
Other highlights from the survey:
I'd like to suggest a question to ask yourself. Do your plans for the future of your company include selling while at a peak in value?
Some companies we meet with at WarrenBDC, show neither top or bottom line growth. Owners have instead, resorted to stalling growth and squeezing whatever cash they can from the business. Some Owners are tired and lack the energy or incentive to continue growing their business, let alone sell it. They think they'll have enough to live on in retirement but continue to come into work more out of habit than to make a real difference. Often working is the result of not having an alternative way to spend their time.
Sound familiar to you or is it someone you know?
Free samples has several meanings and offering stuff for free can often result in different outcomes.
You can get a free sample at the deli counter before you buy. Usually you're there to buy so it makes sense to offer free samples. Sure someone might take advantage but typically the ratio of buying vs taking is low.
Free on the other hand, as in download this stuff free, take this free pen at the trade show, come to this free event or take an hour of my time for free has less attraction to real Buyers and usually appeals to Takers.
Takers go for anything free or close to free and place little value on what they're receiving. It's appropriate to lower your expectations and anticipate a lesser quality of response.
This post is an excerpt from my book 'Just Tell Me More'.
Lists like this one are usually made up of financial reasons for the failure of a small business. Unfortunately there are also many sales and marketing reasons. Fortunately, there is a positive step that can be taken for each one that will greatly increase your chances for success.
“These actionable tips are the responsibility of everyone who works with you. Make sure they know and understand them. Forward this blog to your team NOW!” EG
1. Face Your Weaknesses. Failure to face up to your weaknesses and a lack of effort to take advantage of your strengths can keep your business in a no-growth mode.
Take two pieces of paper and list your company’s strengths on one page and its weaknesses on the other. Note the ways you can make your staff, customers, prospects, and other business associates aware of each of your strengths. On the page of weaknesses, identify steps to correct each problem. Discuss the points with your staff and develop a schedule to address them. No, it’s not really as bad as you think.
2. Take Action. Talking about the great marketing program you have been developing and following through with it are two very different actions. Implementing the program is the key to marketing success. Plan all you want, but be prepared to act on all the steps you have identified. Don’t be surprised to discover that there are some steps you hadn’t initially considered.
This post is an excerpt from my book 'Just Tell Me More'.
In a small business, you often wear both the sales and the marketing hats. What is the difference between sales and marketing? Marketing researches the opportunity, prepares the strategy, produces the tools to inform the prospect, and places the potential sale on the table. The salesperson works with marketing to confirm the opportunity, contribute to the strategy, use the tools to inform the prospect, and move the opportunity off the table and into the cash register.
It is important to maintain objectivity when marketing. Include others in as many stages of the process as possible. They may see something you don’t see or add ideas you haven’t considered. That way, mistakes can be minimized and opportunities can be maximized. Every day, new and exciting elements and challenges are being tossed into the marketing mix. There is no reason to be overwhelmed by all of these choices. Seek professional advice from marketing suppliers or go to seminars and workshops. There are many qualified marketing resources to guide you through this exciting jungle.
Eric's Latest Book Moving Forward
Written specifically for Boomer Aged Business Owners. One of the biggest events they face today, is to sell or transition out of their company.