Family business — by the book

The shocking story! Families struggle to stay together! Lives torn apart!

They may not always be the stuff of tabloid headlines, but the travails of family businesses can hold their share of drama for their principals.

No matter their size, family businesses can pose challenges for their owners in the form of management issues, succession plans, financing and myriad other considerations.

Now comes help in the form of “The Family Business Answer Book: Arthur Andersen Tackles 101 of Your Toughest Challenges,” a new book from Prentice Hall Press that looks at key issues facing family businesses. The book explores the topic through vignettes of actual family businesses and helps heirs, owners and employees navigate the concerns that can potentially derail or debilitate a family-owned company.

Written by Ross Nager, executive director of the Arthur Andersen Center for Family Business, Barbara Buchholz, a business journalist who has written extensively on family business issues, and Margaret Crane, a business journalist with firsthand knowledge of family businesses, the book deals with key family business issues in a question-and-answer format. Some of the topics covered are:

  • What should be considered when promoting family members to new positions within the company?

  • Should family members who are not active in the business be compensated, and if so, how?

  • What can be done to enhance communication within the family and resolve disputes?

The book also addresses many ways family businesses can ensure that they stay healthy and profitable and covers a broad range of financial, estate, and charitable planning matters for family-owned enterprises. It concludes with an overview of the major developments family businesses will need to prepare for in the next century. How to reach: Prentice Hall Press, (201) 909-6445

Ray Marano