For Family-Owned Businesses

Family owned businesses require a unique perspective and set of skills. It is more than a business – it is an extension of the family, and the family is an extension of the business. Because they are impossible to separate, many core issues of running a business gets more complicated: motivation, governance, leadership development, finance, and purpose is all affected. The perfect advisor must be equally astute with business and operational issues as well as family engagement issues. Jim and Jamie Flinchbaugh are both experienced businessmen who have worked with family business both from the inside and outside throughout their careers, and can bring a unique perspective to your business.

Some services available for family businesses include:

Board of Directors – Whether you are considering the formation of a Board of Directors or already have one, this is a crucial process and composition to get right. The role of outside directors provides guidance and governance for the business but also gives the family a forum to separate business and personal dealings providing both integrity and consistency to the process and the business. Jim and Jamie can help with the formation of a new board of directors, or serve as a director on an existing board. With a family held business, the mission of the business as well as the interaction between the board and the company’s shareholders is unique, and you need board members who can understand and work within this framework.

Board of Advisors – If you or your organization is not ready for a full board of directors, a board of advisors may prove a productive alternative. This can provide the business and the family regular and trusted outside counsel for major matters of consideration from strategy to succession. Setting up and leveraging a board of advisors properly is not an automatic success, and many factors must be considered including information flows, frequency, and composition.

Leadership Development and Executive Coaching – One of the most difficult processes for a family company to manage is succession planning and execution. This includes preparing the next generation for the role of leadership. Two very large mistakes are often repeated in this process. First, the development of the next generation does not begin soon enough. The development of those individuals should begin long before the roles and timing are clear because you cannot compress development and learning into a few short years. The second mistake is not giving the new leader outside coaching as they take over. Many issues are faced with new leadership and if the individual’s only outlet is within the family, it can hinder their own development. We have successfully acted as executive coach many times and can help with the leadership development of future generations or those taking over the helm of the family business.

Whether considering a board or executive coaching, most family businesses wait until it is too late costing the business and the family time and money. Do not wait for a crisis. Once in a crisis, the degrees of freedom you have available can be reduced significantly. Be proactive, and help and protect your business on your terms. If you are interested in talking about how we can help your family business continue its success unimpeded, please contact us for a discussion.