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Family businesses confront the same problems faced by any small company—and then some. Squabbles over titles and responsibilities get confused with sibling rivalries while adapting to changing market conditions often conflicts with cherished tradition. The very real family-owned companies in this handbook represent a cross-section of enterprises passed down from generation to generation. In every one, they’ve faced down the demons of family involvement and built growing, successful companies.

“The Family Business Soap Opera” explores the major dramas family business owners live through every day.

“Changing Direction From Generation To Generation” tells how a jewelry retailer overcame the foibles of a patriarch who dominated the company for 40 years.

“Growth Through Family Ownership” explains how family ownership helped an LP Gas distributor increase sales 50 times.

“Family Ownership But Not Family Management” shows how one family in the publishing business turned management over to a non-family team while maintaining control over their company’s future.

“Adapting To A Changing Market” is the story of a daughter who re-created her father’s small manufacturing company in response to customer demands.

“Mixing Family And Non-Family Owners” explores how a real estate investment and management firm communicates with dozens of outside investors while keeping management in the family.

“Family Dynamics Move The Business” is the story of how an auto dealer group deals with sibling rivalries and an 80-year-old founder who won’t let go.

“The Family Tyrant” looks behind the scenes at one of the golf industries most successful equipment companies to see how the strong-minded patriarch nearly destroyed it.

“Learning At The Founder’s Knee” looks at mentorship from the second-generation’s perspective in a janitorial supply business.

“Mixing Technology With Tradition” follows the development of a paint and home decorating retailer as it passes to the fourth generation of family ownership.

“Family Tragedy Shapes Company Future” is the story of how three very young brothers and their sister saved their family’s ski resort and real estate company after their parents died in a plane crash.

“It’s Never Too Late To Plan For Succession” explains how to prepare yourself and your company for ownership transition.

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