Ten Signs You Might Need a Family Business Consultant

“Everything in our business is perfect. After all, we are family!” We like to think that we can do just fine managing the space ourselves where business and family relationships overlap. But even the best founder or family leader can be left with uncertainty from all the unique and challenging things that happen from working together in a family business. Here are 10 of the most common questions and challenges that we have worked with our clients to help resolve.


If the founder or other key leadership position decides to retire, unexpectedly dies or departs the business, do you have a plan in place for a smooth transition in ownership, leadership and management responsibilities? Is the next leader currently working in the business and being groomed to take over leadership at the appropriate time? As the founder of the business are you prepared to make a transition? Do you have a personal plan to “Refire not Retire” beyond the business?


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Does tension permeate your work place or family life? Has money become more important than family and business relationships? Are you giving the next generation regular feedback or not enough? Are the expectations of the next generation unrealistic and result in frequent criticism from you? Are family members’ roles and responsibilities clearly defined?


Do you practice open communications in which family members have a safe way to express their needs and concerns? As matriarch or patriarch, do you listen without judgement and are you willing to fairly consider business ideas provided by other family members? Do family members not feel appreciated or listened to when small problems creep up?


Is either your family or your business undergoing dramatic change? Does your family business THRIVE and adapt to change? Or are you STUCK in the “We have Always Done It that Way” mode?

Ownership/Leadership Change

Have you gone beyond the “Someday this Will all be Yours” in planning for and executing an ownership or leadership change? Do your future leaders receive external coaching/mentoring? What actions have you taken to delegate your own duties, authority or business control? If unexpected health issues or sudden death should occur, will your organization’s leadership be prepared to carry on after you are gone?

“We can’t promise to fix all your problems, but we can promise YOU won’t have to face them alone.”


Does your family business have a clearly defined vision for the future of your business and an action plan on how to get there? What happens in case there is an unexpected death or departure of the family business founder/leadership? Who are the internal and external advisors to help you with succession planning, wealth management, estate planning and strategic growth?

Business Performance Issues

Is your business facing operational or financial challenges? Has governance or the lack of governance affected business performance? Are you maximizing your share of the industry you compete in? Are family members held accountable to the same performance standards as non-family members?


Do family issues creep into the family business affecting your ability to lead? Do you see the business as a way to solve family issues? Are you spending more time trying to treat family members equally rather than fairly?  Are family dynamics draining your energy and affecting business performance? Are family issues taking your time away from key non-family team members who are looking to you for leadership?


Do you have a business plan in place to sell or finance a change in ownership to the next generation of your family business? Do you have governance in place to maximize your family and business potential?

Impartial Advice

Do you need a confidential, zero-biased, and experienced trusted adviser for your family business? Do you want to become a more effective leader for your family and your business? Would you enjoy having healthy family relationships inside your family and business? Do you have a trusted adviser who can help improve your performance, challenge you as a person and as a leader, and is committed to your success?

Do these stories sound Familiar? 

"My Dad has told me he plans on transitioning the business to me when he retires. I have two small children. I love my Dad, but I really want to be a Mom to my children. I am the primary bread winner for our family."

"I’ve worked with my Dad for 15 years in a training/speaking role. Dad was the visionary and leader of our company. He died in a car wreck recently and left me to run the business. I have no idea on what to do. I miss my Dad."


"When I decide to retire I am going to sell the business to my son-in-law who is married to my daughter and is father to my two small grandchildren. When queried about the fact that over 50% of  marriages end in a divorce, he quickly said that this would not happen to his daughter."                                                                                                                    

"My Dad and Uncle are 2nd generation co-owners of our family business. I have two siblings not working in the business and my uncle has one daughter not in the business. They say that they want to be fair to all the children by giving them their fair (equal) share of the business. How can this be fair when I am working full-time in the business and helping build value through future growth?"

"I’ve just joined the family business. Do I call my Dad Boss, Bill, or Dad when I am talking to him or about him in our business and in the marketplace?"

How can We Serve you Today?

If One or More of these Signs are Preventing you from having Healthy Family Relationships, Contact us at info@tncfb.com or call 615-513-9028 to schedule a Free, No-Obligation, Meeting to Determine how we can best serve your current needs.