When the Owner has a Distorted View of Reality

What are the elements of great owners (and great leaders)? According to Platinum Group’s Bill English, great leaders understand that their thoughts and ideas are not infallible and that they have room to grow – and need to grow if their business is going to get to the next level. They grow by letting others challenge the following areas: their job performance, their logic in reaching conclusions, their natural isolation and their tendency to blame others for their company’s problems.

Justice is Never Enough

Family members in family businesses suing each other is not uncommon. Just in the last few months, I’ve run across several situations in which family members sue each other for various reasons.

For example, in Newton, PA, Nina Kaplan was successfully sued by her father and is now required to pay $2.13 million because of poor business results and suspicions about embezzlement. Her business was forced to close. A sign on the door read, in part, “My own father suing me. There are no words for this.”

Cabins and Family Conflict

Did you know that cabins have the potential to cause more family disputes and litigation than family businesses? Platinum’s Bill English, a Minnesota psychologist, offers insights into the impact of sibling rivalry between the family cabin and the family business: “If you own a family business and are making plans on how to pass your business along to your kids, you’re headed in the right direction.

The Importance of Core Purpose in Family Succession Planning

“Any succession plan needs to start with a clearly defined core purpose, with the specifics of the plan building outward from that center,” writes Platinum’s Tom Hubler in a recent blog post. “Many succession plans by (otherwise successful) entrepreneurs start and stop with the notion of saving money on estate taxes as they transfer their wealth down to the next generation. Important as this may […]

Insights Offered on the Success of Family Businesses

Based on a recent article by Nextavenue.org writer Jessica Thiefels — “Five Benefits of Having a Multigenerational Family Business” — Platinum’s Bill English provided his insights from his work with family owned businesses in a recent LinkedIn post. According to Bill, the five benefits can only exist when other factors also exist, such as balancing roles, demonstrating unconditional love and acceptance, practicing forgiveness and celebrating […]

My business is losing money right now. What steps should I take to save my business?

Many business owners have been facing uncertain market conditions for the last year. Their customer buying patterns have been disrupted by the uncertainty facing all of us today. Unprofitable operations, a decline in the collateral value of assets used to support bank loans and erosion of working capital from ongoing losses are leading many owners to wonder if their businesses can be sustained.

Passing on the torch without blowing up the family

Our succession process began without a formal plan. I eventually realized that the do-it-yourself approach had lost traction on both the business and family fronts. Was it too late to create a proactive succession plan? I often refer to myself as the “illegitimate” third generation of Ostbye & Anderson, the Minneapolis jewelry manufacturer founded by my wife’s family in 1920. My father-in law never liked […]

Is it Time for a Family Meeting?

What does a son, daughter, cousin or in-law think about the business owned by a family member? Platinum Partner Steve Coleman answers this question and more in the February/March issue of Upsize Minnesota. As Steve wrote, “Whether or not they are involved daily in that business, a family business does affect the entire family. Yet many business owners of privately held companies do not usually […]

Running on Empty

Enhanced forecasting can help firms take action before exhausting their cash

Ever feel on the brink of cash flow exhaustion? You know the signs: an abrupt change in the marketplace, a failed ownership transition, mismanagement or simply the failure to make your sales forecast from month to month. The result is the same in each case: running out of cash.

Tom Hubler Authors New Book on Family Business Success

Platinum’s Tom Hubler has drawn from more than 35 years of his experience advising family businesses to author a new book called “The Soul of Family Business:  A practical guide to family business success and a loving family.” Packed with family best practices and practical tips from managing conflict to succession planning, “The Soul of the Family Business” is an essential guide for family business […]