Navigating the complexities of managing a Family Business

Quist Full Service Business Valuation Resources

Family-run businesses can face unique complexities that may not exist in other businesses. These include:

Family dynamics: In a family-run business, family members are both co-workers and family members, which can create complex dynamics. Conflicts that arise in the business can spill over into personal relationships, and vice versa.

Succession planning: Family-run businesses often face succession planning challenges. Deciding who will take over the business when the current owners retire or pass away can be a difficult and emotional process.

Compensation and nepotism: Family-run businesses may face issues related to compensation and nepotism. Family members may feel entitled to certain positions or salaries, even if they are not the most qualified or experienced candidates.

Business and personal finances: In a family-run business, it can be difficult to separate business and personal finances. Family members may use business resources for personal expenses or vice versa, which can complicate accounting and tax reporting.

Lack of outside perspectives: Family-run businesses may be more resistant to change or new ideas, as family members may be more invested in maintaining the status quo.

Emotional decision-making: Family members may make decisions based on emotions rather than objective analysis, which can lead to decisions that are not in the best interest of the business.

Navigating these complexities requires clear communication, effective governance structures, and a commitment to treating the business as a professional entity rather than a family affair. It’s important for family-run businesses to establish policies and procedures to manage these challenges and ensure the long-term success of the business.

As valuation specialists with nearly 40 years of experience, Quist has worked with hundreds of family-run businesses. Our best performing and most successful family businesses commit to an annual valuation process whereby they can:

Improve communication. By performing an annual valuation of the business each year, the business has a mechanism to communicate with both active and non-active family members about the current financial and operational progress of the business.

Ensure transparency. By engaging with an independent valuation expert, transparency regarding the performance of the business is improved. Quist provides an unbiased and outside perspective of the business and ensures that the valuation approach and techniques are applied consistently year after year.

Ensure equity. When looking at the family business as just one component of the Family Enterprise, Quist helps to ensure that the whole risk-return profile of the Family Enterprise is being assessed correctly and accurately. Quist ensures that issues related to compensation or non-business related expenses are addressed, so that equity across active and non-active family members is maintained.

Categories: Blog
Shina Culberson, CFA

As the President of Quist, Shina Culberson brings over two decades of financial and valuation experience to her leadership and guidance of the firm. Known for her direct style and laser focus, Shina specializes in business and securities valuation engagements for corporate finance, financial reporting, and tax purposes. Prior to joining Quist, Shina was an Equity Analyst for Cohen Independent Research Group where she provided security valuation and investment recommendations on public companies in the biotech, high-tech, and entertainment industries. Additionally, she served as a Director at Charles Schwab Investment Management where she managed the International Credit Research Team covering international financial institutions and emerging market Asia and Latin America sovereign investments. The team covered over 50 debt issues and had oversight responsibility for approximately $32 billion in portfolio holdings. Shina is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor and is a faculty member for the Exit Planning Institute teaching the valuation section of EPI’s certification course. Shina is also President of EPI’s Rocky Mountain Chapter where like-minded professionals collaborate to ensure better outcomes for business owners in transition and exiting their businesses. Shina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Claremont McKenna College, holds the CFA designation, and is a member of the Society of Analysts in Denver.


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