Family business is the bedrock of the American economy employing the largest percentage of employees. Why do so many people want to work in your business and other family businesses? Because they want to be a part of a Family.

What is family? That group of people where you feel accepted, cared for, safe, secure. When your business family feels this way, they will go the extra mile to make it happen!

So how can you expand your family business in this time of crisis? You’re probably thinking – EXPAND! You’re crazy – we’re just trying to survive and that has meant layoffs, not expansion. How you treat your family now will impact your business for years to come! People will remember how you treated them.

I fully recognize that every business situation is different, and some are in a better position financially to weather this storm. But that is only if you are looking at your situation from a financial lens.

Every strong family business that I’ve worked with over the past 38 years emphasizes family – their employees are family – their customers are family – their community is family.  So, Let’s Get Creative!

  • What Do Your Employees Need?
    • Paychecks, even if they must take a pay cut to help everyone survive
    • Flexibility with many having to juggle small children at home – how about platooning your people so they can have time at home and you also minimize the risk of losing a whole department to the virus.
    • Leadership which addresses their fears – Ty Bullard’s video to his customers – The sun came up this morning! Praising his team for reaching out to help each other. Encouraging his people to keep on going cause we’re going to get through this together.
    • Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing.
    • Treat your employees like family and they won’t leave you for greener pastures. This crisis will end and you’re going to need all hands-on deck.
  • What do your customers need?
    • Ask Them – One dealer has changed the focus of his BDC to call people and ask “How Can We Help You? – Pick up their car for service, take them to the grocery store. Get creative! What are the odds you will end up with a customer for life – expanding your family!
    • Invest in your customers today and they will remember
  • What does your community need? Ask your community leaders
    • Volunteers – Especially young people who have the energy and are less at risk
    • The auto industry has a long history of making a difference in their community – now is the time to leverage your position in the community and expand your family.

This crisis is providing you with a wonderful opportunity to expand your family – your employees, your customers and your community. How you respond will determine how you come back from this crisis.  How you respond now will make a lasting impression.


Watch Hugh’s Video: A Great Time To Expand Your Family Business

Contact us and we can help you with insights, other resources, and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas you can apply to your business right away.

Family Dynamics and Family Governance

Family and Business alignment is hard to find when business issues liven up family dynamics.

However; with proper process, governance policies, and mutual respect built over time, a Family Business can thrive through multiple generations. Click the following links for more drill-down resources on  Family Dynamics and Family Governance.

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