Thursday, December 17, 2009

Successful Family Businesses

The Idiot's Guide to Successful Family Businesses was not what I expected from a how-to business book. Many business how-to books examine how to write a business plan, market, and promote. This book did not really do any of that. Instead the authors, who have personal experience in family businesses, examine  internal family/business relationships and business structures.

The authors explore nepotism, succession, business type, entrepreneurship, profit sharing, and other nitty-gritty topics. These things can make or break a business and more importantly break a family if not dealt with properly. I have been employed both by large corporate businesses and family-owned. I much prefer the family-owned businesses but there is little room for growth, in income or managerial experience.  I do like the friendlier, more relaxed, family friendly atmosphere, so it was worth compromising for that. As an employee I could relate to some of the experiences outlined in the book in regards to employee issues. As I have started my own business, I could use some of the advice found in the book.

The only difficulty I experienced with the book is that some topics were repeated throughout the chapters, especially succession and nepotism. I am not sure how I would rewrite the book, so maybe it's not a fair criticism. Still, I would start reading a new chapter and the authors would again discuss the same topics from a slightly different perspective. Perhaps they had personal experiences that made certain topics bubble to the surface so frequently. Even so, their perspective gave me many things to consider. If you are involved in a family business, this book may give some insights.

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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