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The unique challenges and opportunities that exist in a “Family Business.”

BusinessTips.com:  Tonya, one of your areas of expertise is coaching people through the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in a “Family Business.”  What are some of the key issues you typically see here and are there any ‘best practices’ you’d recommend?

Coach Tonya Page: The dynamics of a family business are significantly different than in a general corporation. Most people don’t wake up next to the boss or sit down with the staff for Thanksgiving dinner.

Having lived in a family business for nearly 15 years, I understand the incredible high of successes as well as the challenges, fears and struggles. The pressure of building an established and trusted business, hiring internally, contracting externally, feeding the machine (marketing, making the phone ring, selling), questioning the direction of the business are often overwhelming.

Great success brings euphoria – reaching pinnacles and doing the victory dance only to wake up days later and wonder how to keep moving forward without falling over the cliff. I’ve watched burn-out and recovery and the pain of giving up.

Communication in a family run business is more complicated due to engrained family history and subtleties. Maintaining boundaries between personal relationships and business can be a challenge in many small businesses, but in a family business this is magnified. Emotions in the family can often get the better of sound business decisions. Working with an entrepreneurial mindset sometimes gets clouded.

Even more important, families in business together need to analyse and plan in ways that other families don’t. Intricacies round family finances, vacations, childcare, division of labour in the family carry over to the business. It’s simply not the way most CEOs and executives do business.

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About Tonya Page

Having been in a family business for nearly 15 years, I understand the incredible high of successes and the challenges, fears and struggles of growing and maintaining a business. I understand the pressure of building an empire, hiring internally, contracting externally, feeding the machine (marketing, making the phone ring, selling and servicing), questioning direction. I understand the euphoria of great success – reaching pinnacles and doing the victory dance only to wake up days later and wonder how to keep moving forward without falling over the cliff. I’ve watched burn-out and recovery and the pain of giving up.

Small business? Budding entrepreneur? Let me walk beside you and help you let you think from the top.