About 70% of family businesses never go beyond the first generation. Mitzi Perdue is well versed in the challenges of passing on a family business. Lost was born into the family that created Sheraton Hotels, then married in the family behind Lost Chicken. Because of this expertise, Perdue recently wrote a book specifically on family business ownership, titled "How to Make Your Family Business Last."
Listen to an interview with Ramon Ray's Perdue from Small Business Trends in the latest issue of our exclusive Smart Hustle report.
Tips for the transfer of a family business
The Perdue book contains about 60 tips on passing on a family business. She shared some of these ideas with Small Business Trends in a recent email interview. Here are five tips for families looking to move a family business from one generation to the next.
Know what to watch
There are many different reasons why some families may not be able to pass on a family business to the next generation. But there are some who stand above the rest.
Lost explained: "A big part of the reason why many families do not do this is either family quarrels that have become uncontrollable or substance abuse problems." If you google "questing" family business – you can get close to half a million hits in less than a second. "
Making Relationships a Priority
Perdue also stated that the creation of a positive family culture can contribute to strong relationships where quarrels and addiction problems are less common. Most of this is just to make these family relationships a top priority in your life. It may seem simple, but it is too often forgotten.
To illustrate this point, Perdue shared the story of a luncheon she recently met with other members of important business families. The vast majority of participants shared stories of how much they struggle with their siblings and other family members. However, Perdue has made it a point of honor to privilege relationships with family members and has had a very different professional experience because of this.
She said, "The experience reminded me of something that I had read recently. Relationship problems are the reason why 70% of families fail to succeed to the next generation. The lunch is over and I wondered why the two families I am closest to are so different from what seems to be the norm. My original family is the Henderson family, and we started in 1890 with the Henderson Estate Company. It was the forerunner of the Sheraton Hotels, which my father co-founded. We are about to have our 127th meeting, and in surveys, family members often say that family reunions are the happiest and most meaningful parts of their lives. My family-in-law is the Perdue family, and the Lost have been meeting regularly since Perdue Farms began in 1920. My lost family members are not just step-parents, but some of the best friends I'll have never in life.
Offer a helping hand
Creating a supportive family culture also means giving a helping hand to family members who need it. This is especially important when it comes to addiction or similar problems. If you can recognize these problems earlier and help your family get the help they need, they have a better chance of overcoming these problems.
Share Family Histories
It is also important to help family members feel truly connected to your family and its history. It means sharing stories about family members and the past with younger members of the family.
Perdue said, "There is a lot of very recent research showing that the more family members know about their family histories, the higher the functioning of the family, and by higher functioning I mean that Children are less likely to addiction, they stay longer in school, get better grades, are less likely to have problems with the law and are less likely to have babies before The reason for the link between being successful and knowing your family stories – it has to do with identity – we are the stories we tell ourselves. "
"An individual who is lucky enough to have a family that spends time together and during this time, to talk about where they come from and what they appreciate and" what it means to be "has a better chance of having a positive identity that can withstand the negative influences that can surround a young person," she added.
Eating together as a family
You just have to spend a good part of your time with your family. Having regular family dinners is a great way to achieve this goal.
Lost suggested, "Having five or more meals together as a family." According to Joe Califano of the Center on Addiction and Addiction of Columbia University, this is one of the ways the more protective that you can take to prevent substance abuse among younger family members. "