25+ Resources for Family-Owned Companies: The Frugal Family Business Guide

Starting and running a business successfully often depends on accessing the right information and tools at the right time and knowing how use it all.

Get your business started on the right foot with these resources for guidance, statistics, and other information specific to family-owned businesses.

This post is part of a Frugal Family Business Series

Organizations Dedicated to Family-Owned Businesses

  • The Family Firm Institute- A membership organization for people who advise family businesses. See this page for recent statistics on the economic impact of family businesses. 
  • The Family Business Network- A global association featuring a network of family business owners. 
  • Business Families Foundation- A non-profit, global-minded organization established in Canada over twenty years ago to help business families. 
  • The National Center for Family Business- A family business center offering an assortment of training programs and consultation. 
  • A list of university-based centers for family business at fambiz.com. These centers typically offer an assortment of consulting, workshops, and other assistance for local, family-owned businesses.

Publications & Online Magazines for Family-Owned Companies

 Articles and Other Resources for Family Business Strategies, Tips, and Trends

  • The Family Business Institute- Here you'll find an assortment of articles, white papers, webcasts, and other resources for those looking to start and run a family business.
  • Fambiz.com- A search engine including hundreds of articles all written by leading experts and academics in the family business field.
  • A collection of informative articles on family-owned businesses- Courtesy of Fairleigh Dickinson University

For-Profit Family Business Consulting

Note: There are many competent, professional family business consultants out there, and you will need to to find the one most suitable one for you and your business. The following two sites are just places to potentially start your search.

  • The Family Business Institute- Offers a wide range of consulting services.
  • Family Business Magazine offers a Directory of Advisers that's searchable by professional specialty as well as by region.

Miscellaneous Resources for Families Who Run and Own a Business

  • University of British Columbia Family-Owned Business Research Guide- This guide provides resources for people studying the strategy, management, operation, governance and ownership of family-owned businesses.
  • SCORE- This non-profit organization matches businesses owners and entrepreneurs up with expert mentors. While this organization is not specifically dedicated to family-owned businesses, you could request an adviser who has experience with family companies. 

Recommended Books for Family Business Advice and Inspiration

1. Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business by Kelin E. Gersick, John A. Davis, Marion McCollom Hampton & Ivan Lansberg. This book examines the dynamics and interactions of family businesses as they move through the various stages of growth and development.

2. Strategic Planning for the Family Business: Parallel Planning to Unite the Family and Business by Randel S. Carlock. A collection of tools and strategies to master strategic planning in a family-owned business.

3. Perpetuating The Family Business: 50 Lessons Learned from Long Lasting, Successful Families in Business by John Ward. Based on the case studies of several formidable family businesses, such as Ford Motor Company, the author provides numerous insights and tools to help family businesses develop and endure.

4. Keeping the Family Business Healthy: How to Plan for Continuing Growth, Profitability, and Family Leadership by John L. Ward. Based on research and interviews with the leaders of several family-owned companies, this book will help you evaluate where your business is holding in its development and know how to successfully take it to the next level.

5. Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business by Ivan Lansberg. Based on the examples of several family-owned companies throughout the world, the author provides a comprehensive overview and practical advice regarding the intricate dynamics of leadership succession in family businesses.

6. Family Legacy and Leadership by Mark Daniell and Sara Hamilton. This book is a guide to developing a lasting vision that will help your family business survive from generation to generation.

7. Family Business 3E by Ernesto j. Poza. This book defines what it takes for the successful management and leadership of a family-owned business.

8. Keep the Family Baggage Out of the Family Business: Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins That Destroy Family Businesses by Quentin Fleming. This book identifies seven deadly sins that can lead to the failure of a promising family business.

9. Family Businesses: The Essentials by Peter Leach. A comprehensive guide to every aspect of managing a family-owned firm. 

10. Family Business as Paradox by John L Ward, Amy Schuman and Stacy Stutz. A guide for those who want to effectively manage the paradoxes, polarities, and dilemmas that naturally impact every family-owned business.

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