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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Family Business-The Tie that binds-a written code of conduct can pave the way

Many business owners are struggling with the decision to hold or sell family business due to a lack of obvious successor. Inertia is a common problem in the family business and should be expected. Major causes of indecision is inadequate succession planning and misunderstanding about the "rules for conduct of the family." A qualified successor to the role of CEO may not be detected or may not have step forward because expectations regarding their working in the company must not be notified. It is very possible that unwritten family code of conduct (all family businesses have no) means that members should wait to hear from CEO before asking questions.


When the original contractor panic because of succession, need several critical questions concerning the interaction between business and family life.
Without taking up a few important issues and without discussing the answers in an open position, the family dialogue only a matter of time before the crisis looms and activities must be sold.Just as all businesses need a written policy plan, the family a written code of conduct or Family family Business mission statement; Family code can be a powerful tool and can be used to develop a framework for dialogue during family gatherings or annual business retreat locations.
Some critical issues to address to start developing a family of conduct and terms of reference that include:

How committed we are to keep your business in the family?
Shares Can be transferred between family members?
Is there a Buy-sell agreement between family members?
Let's form a family Council, which includes both active and inactive members of the family, so can we have a forum to openly discuss issues that companies?
Are members of the family is expected to work in the company, or are they free to look elsewhere?
The font characteristics and skills expected of family members join the activity?
All family members offered a job?
Other relatives or in-laws, that person Will be invited to participate in the activities?
What level of education is expected before the merge activity?
How will be assigned the responsibility and titles?
Will non-family managers employed?
How can performance be evaluated?
The training programme, we offer family members?
Can family members be heated?
How should each individual compensation level determined?
That will hold leadership positions?
How shall we give meaningful careers for individuals in leadership positions?
Outside of work experience is required before a family business?
Who is eligible to be the next PRESIDENT?
There is a scheduled retirement of the current leader, or a date to send control to subsequent leaders? There are a number of leadership plan?Should we have a Board of Directors and, if so, should the Board relatives?Which family members are eligible to sit on the Board of Directors? How is solved business disagreements, as well as family disagreements? What family members allowed to vote on strategic business issues? Will we operate in a Business first mode or works we as family first?


There are many more questions that could be added to the list.
Questions that remain for entrepreneurs to consider, because there is no default answer.Questions such as these separate family businesses from other entrepreneurial endeavors.A response to the questions are often missed is that family companies are emotion-packed and answer questions can lead to the infamous "family feud."

Although dealing with issues which can be painful, cannot respond to them, lead to disappointment later. Hold a family meeting and engage in a dialogue with members of the family may at first seem risky, but when the words streamed, enthusiasm can build.Which issues are dealt with, will be the future more clearly and more manageable.Daily sensibilities will decrease and several of the management's time can be spent on critical operational and strategic issues; Activities then will have a better chance of success and can be better prepared to survive generational change ownership changes.


Three additional General issues should at all times, be given as the future of the company are planned:

What we have? "what we want? how we get there?

Don't be fooled, and believe that this is the simple issues; these issues applies to each company, as well as the family's overall financial planning; Developing responses to "How do we get there?" can pave the way to deal with specific questions about the list longer above; Developing and documenting a family code of conduct is a good start.

Daniel j. Maloney, CPA, CFP is founder and Principal of Certified Acquisition Associates LLC, a business intermediary firms specializing in sales, mergers and acquisitions of middle management market companies; If you have questions about how to prepare your business for sale, send a note to

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