Why Family Business Nation™?

Why Family Business Nation™? Because family businesses have challenges above and beyond those faced by non-family businesses.

And they have had nowhere to turn.

Until now.

What Kinds of Problems?

  • Tony feels that he could be ready to run his family’s third-generation business in the near future, and he wants a timeline to be named president. Tony’s parents see him as impulsive, curt with employees and customers, and not having a good feel for how the business makes money. Lately Tony and his wife have started to “miss” family events.
  • Carl wants to explore and invest in “smart technology” for their products, but his sister Darla thinks that this would be a waste of time and money – and a distraction from meeting their current customer demands. Carl and Darla used to be close siblings and business partners, but this conflict is pushing them apart – and employees have heard them arguing in the office. Their parents just want to make sure that there is enough cash flow to buy out their shares.
  • James has been working in his father’s family business for 22 years, having started when he was 23 years old. Over the past five years his father has said repeatedly that he wants to transfer the business to James, but there have been absolutely no steps taken to make that happen. James feels disrespected and betrayed by his father.
  • Colleen, 37 years old, is oldest of five members of the fourth generation working in this family business. She worked in the family business for two years after graduating from college, then left to get her MBA, and has been back in the family business for ten years. Everyone sees her as a highly competent executive, and a good choice to become the next president. She is, however, reluctant to take on the role of president, and to start a buy-out of her father’s shares, because she sees several of her cousins as poorly motivated, generally incompetent, and having a strong sense of entitlement. She is not sure that she wants to be business partners with these cousins -- and “carry” them for the next 30 years. Her cousins feel that they are strong contributors to the business.
  • George, 65 years old, sold his third-generation family business three years ago for $28 million. His three children, now in their 30s, want to fully understand their father’s financial situation so they can plan for their own financial future. George is reluctant to share the full details of his assets and his financial planning because he fears this will lead to family conflict. He avoids the discussion, and his children now avoid bringing the grandchildren over for visits.

You’re not alone. Family Business Nation™ is here to help.

  • As the founder, owner and CEO of a small consulting business I don’t have a board or formal advisors, so it’s really important that I can count on resources such as Family Business Nation and Jeff Smith to help guide my decision making and provide executive coaching to me as well as my team. Always positive and progressive, Family Business Nation has propelled me to succeed in creating a long-term thriving business, which hopefully may be something that future generations of my family can not only benefit from, but manage and own.

    Lisa Vallee-Smith Owner/CEO Airfoil Group
  • Donald Levitt consulted with us both as an Executive Coach and as a Family Consultant advising the family as we planned the transition to second generation stewardship. As an Executive Coach Don was incredibly helpful as he identified areas of weakness and then “coached” the executives toward improvement in those areas. His insight and guidance were delivered in a systematic and professional manner that was well received. As a Family Consultant Don worked with our entire family to understand and then implement the necessary structure and processes that allow families to be successful both as families and business owners. In the end we are more educated about family business, we’re more focused as a family unit, and the systems have been put into place that will allow us to remain that way.

    Steve Wurth President Wurtec, Inc.
  • I would call Jeff Smith at Family Business Nation “The Executive Coach.” His frameworks, simplify the process so you can reach and exceed your potential. He has an extraordinary ability to motive and keep the client accountable to achieve their goals. He will help you develop and winning strategy not just for your business, but for your life as well. Best of all, Jeff will roll up his shelves in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. If you want to a TOP GUN Leader, let Jeff Smith Coach you.

    Keith P. Melvey VP Sales, GreenTec-USA (formerly with Pepsi and Oracle)
  • When I contacted Don Levitt, our family business had been in a rut for a couple of years. My two brothers and I had had a pretty good run, but we are all in different stages of our life now and were having difficulty coming up with any kind of plan to move forward. With Don’s help we were able to work through some difficult issues, and to formulate a very solid and strategic plan for the next stage of our company’s future. It is now up to us to execute the plan, and I feel confident it will get done. Don also assured us that if we need a “tune up” or additional assistance down the road, that he will always be available and eager to assist.

    Peter Boice President, Willis Machinery & Tools
  • Our work with Don Levitt has resulted in a stronger family and business team. He helped our Executive Team and Board of Directors to gain a better understanding of our executives’ strengths and how each one can best contribute to the success of the business. Don has helped our entire management team function more effectively, particularly through the implementation of strategic and tactical meetings. Don has also facilitated a family meeting which included owners, spouses and teenage children that provided us all with a better understanding of the past, present and future of our third generation family business.

    Ed Brooks President, Huron Automatic Screw Co.

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