Did you know that only 30% of family business will make it to the next generation? In Mitzi Perdue’s book, How to Make Your Family Business Last, she gives practical advice on how family businesses can develop a culture that supports keeping the family business in the family.
The fact that so many businesses fail to make the transition to the next generation, usually as a result of internal family strife, means problems not only for the families involved, but for the entire global economy. In her book How to Make Your Family Business Last, Mitzi Perdue addresses the issue in really practical and engaging ways. She gives solid advice on how a family businesses can develop a culture that supports keeping the family business in the family. Her advice can be useful to any multi-generational family. Her I've-lived-it experience comes from membership in two long-lasting family enterprises. Her family of origin began in 1890 with the Henderson Estate Company, forerunner of the Sheraton Hotels which her father co-founded. Perdue Farms (she's Frank Perdue's widow) began in 1920. The secret for the longevity of both families is: neither the Hendersons nor the Perdues left their family's legacy to chance. Using checklists, activities, stories, and tips, Mitzi shares little-known but practical techniques for teaching members that:
Family members have a responsibility to something greater than themselves.
Compromise, including understanding the other's point of view, is key.
Membership in a family business comes with benefits but also with the need for occasional sacrifices.
Elders are responsible for passing along key values and attitudes to the next generation.
Happy, high-functioning business families rarely happen by accident; they happen by design. Using the right knowledge, tools, values, and resources, Mitzi's book helps families do just that. Using the tools in her book, families will learn how to:
Create a strong family culture that supports a stable business.
Encourage children to be responsible stewards of the financial wealth they inherit.
Maintain loving intact relationships, personal identity, and legacy.
Preserve and protect the jobs of people who depend on the family business.
Teach the younger generation to cherish their heritage and embrace their role in leading the business and the family forward.
Share the power of philanthropy to bind generations together.
Welcome and unite new members who marry into the family.
Avoid family feuds that wind up in court and destroy the business.
The problem that caused me to write this book - seventy percent of family businesses won’t make it to the next generation. Building a family business takes almost unbelievable commitment and sacrifice, and seeing it all go poof if the family splits apart can be agony.
I know of case after case where a disintegrating family resulted in a disintegrating business. The collateral damage to everyone and to everything the business touched was devastating. The pain this causes the family can last for generations. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Family business elders can teach their younger members how to be supportive and loving. But this rarely comes about by accident. I know the tips, techniques, attitudes and advice that it takes to keep a business family together.
Whatever your age, take action now to preserve your family business. Don’t leave things to chance.
About the author
Mitzi Perdue comes from two business families which together have a combined experience of more than 224 years. Her family of origin began in 1890 with the Henderson Estate Company, forerunner of the Sheraton Hotels, and her marital family started the Perdue poultry company in 1920. She has spent a lifetime studying and observing why some families last and others don't. A graduate of Harvard University with a Masters from George Washington University, she combines an academic approach with practical I've-lived-it experience. She believes that at their best, family businesses provide meaning and support for their members and jobs, taxes, and philanthropy for their communities. A public speaker, she loves to share stories and tips from successful family businesses.
Why LoA loves it….
Women entrepreneurs understand the importance of creating a legacy and building a business that can help their families to grow, long after they have handed over the reins. But putting in place a strong foundation that will keep that family business growing and together long into the future is critical. Mitzi Perdue knows from first hand experience just what it takes to build and maintain a strong family business and in this practical book she shares her insights and advice with others. This is an enjoyable and really useful read for all those women entrepreneurs who want to build a business for future generations. — Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa