Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Accepting New

SKM Associates is happy to announce that as we move into 2019, we are accepting new family business clients. 

As a Family Business Advising Family Businesses, we supportSuccession Planning withFamily Business Solutions. We understand successful multi-generational family businesses have a long-view and time horizon for their family. Defining who is responsible for family leadership and who is responsible for what, who is responsible for sustaining the family business including developing the next generation, is a critical process requiring time and intentionality.

To learn how SKM Associates will walk with your family on this journey, give us a call, 215.256.5997

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What Does It Take To Lead A Family Business

Leading a successful family business requires a clear understanding of conflict management (known as positive family relationships) and a clear understanding of business structures (known as governance).

First, positive family relationships do not occur by accident or by just thinking positive thoughts. Some debate whether positive relationships are the result of focusing on ‘quality’ vs. ‘quantity’ time spent. However, positive relationships require a T.I.P.; time, intentionality, and proximity. How do you do that?

1.    Commit the time to have family meals together.
2.    Commit to enjoy activities together as a family where business is not the main event.
3.    Commit to a family council that meets on a regular basis, giving all voices the opportunity to be heard.
4.    Commit to learning as a family how to have difficult conversations and still love each other.
5.    Commit to educating the next generation about the business, the governance, and what it takes to lead a family business.
6.    Commit to providing family grace and love.

Second, sound business structures are critical to profitably grow the business in an ever-changing competitive environment. In general, corporate governance is “the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is directed and controlled.” For family businesses, governance should help formalize issues such as ownership, leadership structures, control, conflict resolution, and communication. For many families, the process of developing family governance can be as valuable and educational as the final product. What could that look like?

1.    Begin with agreement on how the family will communicate, debate, resolve conflict, and hold each other accountable.
2.    Create a family charter describing how the family will relate to each other and the business.
3.    Create (or update) a shareholder’s agreement that includes, among other things, clearly defined governance structures.
4.    Process additional issues such as management of the business, compensation, training and development of family, and qualifications for leadership roles.
5.    Build meaningful experiential learning opportunities for family and non-family employees.
6.    Establish an Advisory Board to provide nonbiased counsel, advice, contacts, and strategy to help the family business achieve its’ goals.

Good governance and positive relationships require discipline to execute and hold each other accountable. It is not too late to get started.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


With 2019 comes new opportunities. New opportunities for each individual, family, and family business. 

May your family business have courage, hope, and faith to successfully navigate the challenges. And may your family business have success in your actions taken.