While public companies are planning for the next quarter, successful family businesses are planning for the next decade. While private equity firms anticipate exit, successful family businesses anticipate transitioning to the leadership of the next generation. A recent profile in the New York Times of Rumiano Cheese provides a great example of how family businesses persist and endure over generations. Rumiano Cheese is celebrating its centenary this year, and the company’s story provides some great reminders for all family businesses that are in it for the long haul.
If the income statement is a movie that records how your family business performed during a particular period, the balance sheet is a snapshot that records what your family business looked like at a particular date. The balance sheet answers two core questions: “What are the assets our family business owns?” and “How has our family business paid for those assets?”
We’ll flesh out the first question in this week’s post, and turn our attention to the second question in a subsequent post.
An engaged and informed shareholder base is essential for the long-term health and success of any private company, and a periodic shareholder survey is a great tool for achieving that result. This week’s post includes a list of five good reasons for conducting a survey of your shareholders.
What’s the right capital structure for your family business? We find that the best answer to that question can be found after asking these four questions about the use of debt in your family business.
Share Redemption / Liquidity Programs
In last week’s post, we explored how family businesses can use periodic share redemptions or ongoing liquidity programs to promote shareholder engagement and satisfaction. This week’s to-do list includes important tasks for family business directors to complete whether planning for a one-time share redemption or establishing a family shareholder liquidity program.
There are many reasons family members may want to sell shares: desire for diversification, major life changes, funding for estate tax payments, starting a new business, or funding other major expenditures. What is the best way to provide liquidity to family shareholders on fair terms without sparking a run on the bank?
Family business directors must properly distinguish between capital structure and capital budgeting decisions to make the best decisions. In this week’s post, we answer a frequently asked question that leads us into a discussion of what is known as the “separation principle.” In short, what are the relevant cash flows for capital budgeting analysis? And, when is it appropriate to combine investing and financing decisions? If you have ever struggled with these questions, this week’s post has the answers you need.
Return on invested capital is not a silver bullet – it will not solve all of the challenges facing your family business. However, when we let the data speak for itself, the benefits of ROIC are undeniable. This week, we identify five reasons family businesses should focus on ROIC.
This month’s cover story in the Harvard Business Review takes aim at the misuse of metrics in businesses, highlighting the tendency of leaders to confuse numbers with strategy. In this post, we consider how to apply the authors’ suggestions in the context of family businesses.
This week’s post is a part of a periodic series called “Family Business Industry Spotlights.” In these posts, we will share conversations with our family business advisory professionals who have deep experience working with family businesses in a particular industry. We think the conversations promise to be of interest to family business directors regardless of their industry. This week, we talk with Scott A. Womack about the challenges and industry trends facing families in the Auto Dealer Industry.