Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recession Ends Family Businesses

Did you know that 90% of the businesses in the United States are family owned or controlled? That includes many Fortune 500 companies. This factoid was news to me, as I read about the demise of some family businesses in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, October 6, 2009.

The recession is just cutting too deeply into the top line -- the revenue -- for the companies to stay in businesses. Many family businesses were caught off guard when sales dropped by 50%. Family members who always thought they would work in the family business forever are out of jobs. They have special relationships with employees and with other family members, so the end of the business is very, very hard.

Family businesses that survive tend to be ones that had some sort of disaster plan or that didn't have a lot of debt tied up in the business. It shows how planning and conservative business practices are really important. To read more, go to:

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