Problem-Solving Tough Challenges: Our Family Business CEO Roundtables

Posting by Geoffrey D. Brown, CPA

When’s the last time you were able to think long-term about your family business? You may find yourself fighting daily fires and attending to time-sensitive problems, leaving strategic initiatives to fall by the wayside. Or, perhaps, you want to face the challenge head on, but don’t know who to turn to and have trouble obtaining an objective view.

The Challenges Facing Family Businesses

While every business has its unique environment, there are some common problems that keep most family business owners up at night:

  • Staying Innovative and Competitive. Finding that perfect balance between traditions and innovation is the perennial challenge for any family business. Traditions and values are part of what make family businesses more resilient, but they can also keep your company from innovating. And if you’re not innovating, you’re doomed to fall behind in today’s competitive market.
  • Building a Board of Directors. Solid governance structures are essential for any family business. A board of directors can be a key part of helping to formalize many processes and cultural elements of your family business, and it is also a great opportunity to bring in outside perspectives to balance your family’s input.
  • Transitioning Ownership. We’ve repeated this statistic many times – less than half of family-owned businesses maintain family ownership into the second generation, and only 12% into the third generation. Effective succession planning is a challenge for any family business and takes strategic foresight, ongoing training, and open communication – issues that in and of themselves can be challenging.

Finding Answers in a Family Business CEO Roundtable

Whether you’re grappling with transferring ownership, an uninvolved board, or an increasingly competitive market (or perhaps all three issues), you are not alone in confronting these challenges, which is why we are creating a Family Business CEO Roundtable. The collective wisdom of seasoned CEOs who have faced the same roadblocks can be a source not just of inspiration, but can provide concrete strategies you can take back to the office and implement for success.

I’m particularly excited about this group because of its unique family business focus. This is a great opportunity for DC-area family business CEOs to learn from each other. Talking with your peers in a non-competitive, confidential environment gives you dedicated time to think strategically and brainstorm solutions to your most entrenched business challenges.

We’ve also lined up a number of distinguished speakers for this series, who will be working with our roundtable participants on a variety of important topics, including governance, family offices, family wealth, and leadership. Their expertise, combined with the accountability, networking, and problem-solving components of each session promise to create a valuable experience.

You can also learn more about this roundtable and sign-up via our website. I’d also encourage you to contact me to talk about the program in more depth. We’ll be holding interest sessions on April 22 and 23, and the inaugural roundtable will take place in Bethesda, MD on May 15. Our goal is to provide you, as a family business owner, with a helpful tool to tackle your biggest issues and aid you in your efforts to preserve and grow your family’s wealth and business legacy. You may be facing some big strategic issues in your family business, but you don’t have to tackle them alone – our family business CEO roundtable sessions can help you get the honest feedback and inspiration you need to achieve your goals.

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