Next Generation Issues and Solutions For a Family Business

Children may not automatically want to be part of the family business. Sometimes children who have grown up in the business become bored, uninterested or lack the desire and drive necessary to successfully run the business in the future. They may actually take the business for granted, assuming it will always be there for them. Understanding this going in, a family business can more effectively plan for generational issues in the growth and future of the business.

Preparing the Next Generation

The questions to ask are: Why do children join a family business? What are their motivations?

– To Influence the Family: This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the kid’s underlying motivations. A Family Business should foster a mission which positively influences family members, not provide ammo for the children to attack each other. Positive Influences include:

- Family Education Fund/ Emphasis on Continuing Education

- Foster an Atmosphere of Openness & Learning

- Set good examples for kids to aspire toward

- Ingrain the values of Business Integrity and Ethical Responsibility

- Foster & Promote Civic Duty

- Promote & Support Community Volunteer Work, Projects and Board representation

– To Help the Family Succeed: Success for the Family Business should translate to the success of the Family. Future generations can have better lives, pursue their passions and be happier if part of a cohesive team striving for a better future for the entire family- not just those in the business.

– An Opportunity to Further one’s Career: It isn’t necessary for every family member to remain with the business. Family members should be encouraged to pursue their passions, and the family business can be the proving grounds, the incubator, for family who want to pursue other careers or possible spin off another related business. Often, children find that after working for other companies early in their careers, the Family Business is a great career destination, allowing them to reach their full potential and constructively apply their expertise and experience.

– Like the Family Business: Having a passion for the industry and business the family enterprise occupies is often a major reason why family members join the Company. What also plays into this is the requirement to work outside the Company to gain expertise and experience. When the family member returns to the family business, there is inherent respect for the opportunity given and the successful growth history of their predecessors before them. Having a firm understanding of what makes the family business special and unique creates a strong loyalty and passion for it.

– The Challenge: If family members worked in the family business from a young age, were taught the value of a dollar, went off to college and to work for an outside Company for a several year period, then returning to the family enterprise can be a fantastic challenge to pursue. For this reason, it is important the family business provides qualified family members with a real growth opportunity, a challenge to inspire drive, loyalty and passion in their career maturation.

– Sense of Duty and Responsibility: Some of the older children in the family’s next generations may feel the duty and responsibility to serve their family interests and ensure future succession success of the business. This becomes apparent after the younger children become involved in the Company and sometimes the older child moves onto another career since his or her passion was extinguished by the stress and forbearance of fiduciary responsibility. Or, it is sometimes the older children who spin off a subsidiary or new Company after feeling they have accomplished their role in the Company. It is important to encourage the family’s children to pursue their passions, no matter what industry, and gain outside experience; however, sometimes it is a necessity to have the older child assume responsibilities early on if resources are scarce in the Company’s particular Growth Stage.

– To Make Money: While this is often the number one reason family members join the family business, it is closely followed by the “Liking the Business” category. This relationship certainly makes sense: making money is a major requirement of any career but it is strongly linked to liking what you are doing, the passion factor. A well-prepared family business provides ample growth opportunities for family members to nurture their passion and be well rewarded for it through a competitive Compensation Package.

Considerations when planning and preparing for the next Generation in a Family Business

– When family members are young, have them work on simple jobs on a part-time basis.

- This provides insights into the business, helps them understand the business from the bottom up, gives them a strong work ethic and encourages them to pursue and finish higher education.

– Work for an outside Company after graduating from college to broaden training and background.

- If the family members worked in the lower ranks of the business before and during high school and during the summers in his/her college years, then outside experience can justify moving a family member into a higher position level upon entering back into the business.

– Some tips when preparing for the next generation to join the Company:

- Never allow a family member to work in senior management until that member has worked for someone else for a few years.

- Rotate the family member throughout different positions to cross train, as well as, pinpoint interests and skills.

- Promotions only come when earned, just like everyone else in the Company.

- Devote time every day, preferably over breakfast, for face-to-face mentoring, teaching and training.

- Don’t take business issues and matters back home.

- Reward the family member with responsibility so he or she can learn to manage the business in order to potentially take over or have executive level responsibilities in the future.

- Make sure the family member knows you trust him or her.

- Allow them to make mistakes and fail; give them room to grow and learn. Help them when asked; give them autonomy.

Next Generation Issues and Solutions

Here are some common main generational issues characteristic to family business operations and how to effectively deal with them.

– The Business Owner Who Won’t Delegate: A very common problem in family enterprises is the owner or CEO who can’t let go. Many owners have a strong personal connection to the business which prevents them from allowing next generations to assume more responsibility in the business.

- The second generations are “entrepreneur successors” in training and the business owner patriarch or matriarch should be very careful not to stifle that passion and drive.

- An inherent attitude that an owner’s or founder’s shoes cannot be filled is common in a family business; therefore, it is vitally important to the future continuation of the business for a clear path toward ascendancy for the next generation be established through training, mentoring and delegation of responsibility.

- Best Advice: Hire a Business Consultant to help you work through these issues in order to develop a clear ascendancy plan that is fair, yet, challenging. Establish clear goals and expectations so next generation family members can strive to attain goals and career growth, without stifling their passions and drive. The Business Consultant can bring valuable experience and objectivity to this often controversial issue.

– Next Generation Gaining Acceptance, Respect and Credibility: If a family member has worked from the bottom up during their formative years, gone off to college to earn their business related degree(s) and gained valuable expertise and experience working for an outside firm, give him or her the respect they deserve.

- Next generation members will work hard in the business if they are praised, encouraged and accepted as equals.

- Be careful not to set expectations too high, they should be in line with the family member’s training, education, personality, skills and experience.

- A next generation member should express strong interest in the family business so the family knows of his or her passion, drive and interest level.

- The next generation member should know what their capabilities are and communicate that clearly to the family owner(s).

- A next generation family member should conduct a self-analysis of goals and skills:

* What are my strengths and weaknesses?

* What areas do I need to work on or need help on?

* What other parts of the business do I need to learn about?

* What are my leadership qualities? Are they sufficient?

* What training, mentoring and continuing education do I need to fulfill a leadership role in the family business?

* Am I happy working in the family business?

- Three Stage Training Program for Family members joining the business:

* Stage 1: Initial learning stage to fully understand all the aspects and divisions of the Company: Cross-Training.

* Stage 2: Specialization in a particular skill.

* Stage 3: Become a generalist, learn to manage, motivate and lead. Need to have strong strategic Management Skills.

- The next generation should have mentoring relationships not just with the family founder/ owner/ CEO but also with experienced business people in their industry, preferably one from other family enterprises. Long-term development mentoring support is a vital component in a next generation member’s growth.

- A next generation family member should work outside the family business as this will increase his or her knowledge, experience, confidence, and most importantly, enhance credibility with family and non-family employees alike.

7 Reasons Why You Should Start an Internet Business – Even in a Recession

So when is the best time to start an internet business? Many people would think that starting an internet business in an economic downturn or a recession is a bad idea. Bad economic times may have you fearful and worried to launch an internet business on your own, but you may not know that many top corporations got their start right in the middle of a recession.

Sixteen out of the thirty corporations that make up the current DOW Jones Industrial average (corporations that have been around a long time), are ones that started during a recession. Walt Disney Corporation began during the recession of 1923 to 1924. Hewlett Packard began in 1938 during the Great Depression. Microsoft Corporation began during the 1975 recession. McDonald’s is a similar story. So here are seven reasons why a recession is a perfect time to launch an internet business.


In a time of recession, people’s budgets are shrinking, people are getting pay cuts, people are getting laid off, and there is not enough credit out there available any more. Starting any business takes money, but what if you don’t have much money to start? Internet business is the best kind of business in this case because you can get started for next to nothing.

Most ‘brick and mortar’ businesses require a store front or building to be purchased, inventory needs to be bought right away, production costs to launch a product, etc. With internet business and information products, you can sit down and create an information product such as an e-book for free with no production costs.


Getting your products to the market and getting your business up and going right away is very important. Most regular type businesses operate for two years or more before they actually make a profit due to startup costs and production costs of products. You make a huge investment in the beginning hoping that someday it will pay off and you will actually have a profit.

Rather than waiting two or plus years, which is a huge gamble, with internet business you can get something started very quickly and will know right away if it’s a good idea or not. If your idea isn’t successful, you’ll know right away and you can move on to the next idea with minimum time and financial input involved in it. Times of uncertainty are times for opportunity, so you are able to prove your idea in a timely manner.


Marketing is the key to business, and you want to be a good marketer putting adequate time and money into marketing. The great thing about marketing on the internet is that because there are such low costs, there are extremely cost effective or even free ways to market yourself online. Many other businesses need to use mail or billboards, however with internet marketing, people find you through all the free content you publish (podcasts, videos, blogs, etc). This attracts people magnetically to you.

The key to surviving in a recession is getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to marketing. Internet marketing is extremely easy to track, you can track the amount of clicks coming in, track when someone hits a landing page, track where they came from, and even track the conversion rates for people that sign up for your product or who buy from you. This helps you to be laser precise and cost effective.


Most companies in the midst of a recession are acting out of fear, and tend to do foolish things business wise as a reaction to that fear. They start to cut their marketing budgets, and shorten up where their money is going. Cutting back on marketing in a recession is certain death to your business, remember the big companies we mentioned at the beginning of this article?

These business thrived and were successful because they stepped it up and did more marketing. They were able to achieve what we like to call ‘massive mindshare,’ they understood their competition was weaker during this time. Marketing also was cheaper because less people were spending on marketing and advertising. Because internet business is so cost effective, you can pull ahead of the competition and be successful.


When starting a business, one would probably ask, “Where will I get the money from?” The most likely candidates to ask from would be family and friends. But this does get tricky, asking your family and friends to invest in something you don’t know the outcome of whether it will be successful or not. MLM’s (Multi Level Marketing) schemes get a bad rap because they are based on selling to those who are closest to and getting them to buy into your business.

Internet business is great because it’s very slim and trim when it comes to initial investment, so it helps you to steer clear of the awkwardness of asking for family and friends to invest. Startup is so easy, and cost is minimal.


Maybe you’ve just lost your job or take a big cut in your pay and your bills are not matching up. Internet business is a great way to go because for little money and very little time you can prove an idea out, your don’t have to wait a year or more to get the income you need now. In this economic time, it’s definitely easier to start a business than to go out and try to find a regular job.

Statistics say that 1 in 12 Americans are currently unemployed, and 80% of jobs will hire either internally or someone they know, it’s all through networking. You also are competing with people that may be more qualified than you are, so you will have a much better chance of succeeding by going with internet business than playing the odds of getting a regular job.


The society we live in and all the systems we depend on financially to keep things working are starting to break down in this difficult economic time. The breakdown of the housing market, banks, and other financial systems we depend on is impacting people’s lives in huge ways. At a time when people are losing their jobs and getting pay cuts, internet business success is actually increasing.

With this comes freedom, an ability to continue this life in the way that you want it, at a comfort level that you want. You don’t have to worry about losing your job, because it’s something you have direct control over as well as direct access. Because you are in control over your own business, any changes that may happen you can respond to in a moment’s notice to reverse any negative effects that might occur. Internet business gives you the means to take control of your life and finances.

Shocking Internet Business Model Secrets You Are Not Being Told

Have you considered making money with an Internet Business? You are not alone as each year the number of people starting an online business increases. Researching business models is becoming increasingly difficult with all the online hype, and the fact is not every model will be up front and honest.

It becomes increasingly important for those wanting to start a business to do the proper research on the business, and the people or group they are partnering with. All websites make the business model sound easy and that it is as simple as following a step by step guide. While Internet Business platforms are becoming easier to duplicate, and easier than in previous years to build, there are still some startling acts you need to know.

Internet Business Models Revealed

What are some of the hidden agendas you need to be aware of when seeking an Internet Business to make money online with. The eight steps below will assist you in knowing what questions to ask when selecting the business model to work with.

1) Hidden Fees – It’s not fun to join an opportunity to make money and then discover that each month there are additional unexpected costs to running or maintaining your business. When inquiring about the business ask for a detailed list of fees to keep your business running. Its important business building step to insure you have an accurate monthly accounting on your business.

2) Monthly Fees – Most businesses will have a reoccurring monthly fee attached. Most representative do not even know why they are paying for the monthly fee. While each business may charge you a licensing, hosting, or marketing center fee it is important to have a detailed list of exactly what you are getting when the company charges you a recurring fee.

3) What Happens If I Miss A Month’s Fee – Is there a penalty when you miss a months fee? There should be no penalty for missing a fee. Many times Internet Business models will take away your products and services upon missing your fee. This should never happen, as in most cases you pay for access to products and services upon joining an opportunity.

4) Products Or Services – What products and services do they have. What type of benefit do they offer you. Make sure that the company has numerous product and service ranges. It is important for the company to tell you the immediate draw, and to provide accurate testimonials not just on the opportunity but also on the products and services.

5) Personal Business Closers – Does the company provide professional business closers. If so how are they employed. Make sure they are not an out of the house call center. It is suggested the best results are personal business closers to be a in house sales staff.

6) Automated System Check – Are they claiming automated system? What does that mean for you? Get a clear understanding of what your task will be in order to build your online Business. No business is completely automated with any work involved.

7) Marketing Center – If a company offers marketing this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, no one should suggest this to be the only marketing to make money. You will need additional marketing strategies to grow your Internet Business. Have them be as detailed as possible as to what it will take to advertise your business.

8) Product Or Service Demand – What type of demand does your product have in the market place. Anyone can tell you it has high demand. Do research on the niche market you considering to draw your own conclusion on whether your products or service will create the demand you desire.

Asking questions when considering an Internet Business is critical to ensure that you find the right opportunity. The biggest mistake you can make is to partner with a company and then discover hidden elements that could potentially harm you and your business.