Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business: How to Successfully Navigate Family Business Conflict and Transition

Henry Hutcheson

Why are family businesses so challenging? Family is about unconditional love, and business is about profit. Dirty little secret: these two goals do not always align. This book explains that family businesses, like relatives, come in many shapes and sizes. Surprising statistic: More than 66 percent of all family businesses don't succeed to the next generation. This book uncovers the dirty little secrets of family business, and then offers some effective strategies for keeping communication open and dealing with difficult problems that may arise.

Most family businesses begin with a single founder, who either saw an opportunity or simply took action to make ends meet. Maybe it was both. However, this can quickly turn into a husband-and-wife team, or two brothers or sisters. Many family businesses are owned and run by women, who have the additional burden and conflict of being “mom” and the chief emotional support for the family. Then the next generation comes along, grows up among the hustle and bustle of their parents trying to build a business, helps out where possible, and one day finds that they are working in their parent's business. Then the kids get married and bring in-laws into the business. Trusted and capable non-family employees are picked up along the way. Ultimately, communication is the key to success for any family business and the book delves into how to achieve that on a consistent basis.