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Family Business Consultation


These executives realize something that many family businesses have not: The values, ideals and sense of purpose nurtured by the owning family are a potentially vast source of strength and energy for business. A healthy owning family with strong values, in fact, may be the greatest resource a business can have.

Aronoff & Ward, 1992

Family businesses comprise over 80-90% of all business enterprises. They account for about 80% of new job creation and over 50% of GDP in the US alone. About 60% of all public companies in the US are family owned and they make up about 37% of the Fortune 500.  Typically, a family business is defined as a business in which:

A single family controls the company’s ownership

Controlling family members are currently active in top management
The family has been involved in top management for at least two generations (or seems likely to be)

Yet no one ever said running, or being part of, a family business, is easy.  Less than 30% survive into the second generation, only 12% make it to the third generation, and only a depressing 3% make it to the fourth generation and beyond. As with any other type of business, family businesses often hit predictable bumps along the road.  Experience has taught us that family businesses can often benefit from a consultant’s help at key inflection points along the growth curve. Below are some of the critical periods when a family business can most use the help of a consultant who understands the idiosyncracies of family businesses as well as the nuts-and-bolts of running a successful company:

Typical family business issues we encounter, and assist with:

  • Sudden growth and issues of nepotism in hiring and promotion
  • Creating a viable succession plan
  • Working with founders who are not ready to let go
  • Helping siblings thrive once the founder is no longer in the business
  • Creating opportunities for children and grandchildren to be part of the legacy


Of course, helping to resolve the conflicts that arise from these situations and putting the family back on a path to growth and successful interaction is what a family business consultant does. As professionals with a background in both business consulting and family dynamics, Sirkin Advisors provides help to families in business by focusing on the issues of the day where the family is stuck, helping to resolve these issues, and getting the business, and the family, to move on to other challenges. We provide a number of related services to family businesses:

  • Coaching – entails working one-on-one with the founder, CEO, or other key members of the business.
  • Organizational Development – to ensure that the talents of family members are being used most effectively
  • Career Coaching – for those thinking of entering or leaving the family business
  • Succession Planning – to ensure an effective and least disruptive transition from one generation to the next
  • Family Councils – creation and management of a non-business forum to help the family understand and manage its significant assets, often including the business
  • Family Foundations – allow the resources of the family to be distributed in accordance with family values yet independently of the family business


We provide other services too, either directly or through our extensive network, depending on the needs of the family.  If you have a question, give us a call!