Family Business Case Studies

  1. Suppose your oldest son (in his early 50's) is designated as successor and his younger sister wants to also play a major role in the business. The sister does not get along at all with her brother and doesn't have much of a business background. The brother has been unwilling to share any information and would prefer his sister not be involved in the business. Your vision as an owner is to see both children become active owners and managers in this 3rd generation family business. What do you do?

  2. After working on a succession plan for one year the owner/operator changes his mind and decides he wants to stay. Everyone in the business knows he is planning to "retire" and duties and responsibilities have been re-assigned. He can't let go. The business has been his life dream and passion. Everything to date has been done in an orderly manner with his approval. What should be done?

  3. You would like to retire in the next five years. All of your personal wealth is in your business and sales and profits have been diminishing over the last two years. What can be done to maximize the value of the business you have built while ensuring a reasonable retirement? What should you do?

  4. The next generation of five children lack confidence, commitment and competency to run the family business. Some of the children have worked in the business while others have not. The children are generally not respected by the employees. The children feel entitled to the business and there is great fear they will run the company into the ground. What do you do to address this situation?

  5. A third party recently approached the family business with an offer to buy it for a very attractive price. The founders are in their mid 50's. Their son (mid 20's) is active in the business and very qualified to run it someday. It is his passion to be the owner/operator of this 2nd generation business. While the son has been identified as the designated successor, the current owners are torn between selling the business and securing their retirement. They are also concerned about disappointing their son's dream of continuing the family legacy. What should they do?