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What's Your Family Business I.Q.?

Self-Assessment for Family Businesses & Entrepreneurial Couples

Are any of the following true of your family business? 

(Give yourself a point for every "Yes" answer)


Family business spills over into every family get-together, and you cannot ever “just be a family” because the business is the main thing you talk about when you are together.

You cannot remember why you ever decided to go into business together your spouse.

There are no clear standards for entering and exiting the family business.

People are chosen for leadership roles primarily because they are family, not primarily because they have the appropriate knowledge, experience, and motivation.

The family business has become the “family welfare system.”

Unfinished family conflict comes to work, and unfinished work conflict comes home.

There are different standards for performance between family and non-family employees in your business.  Either business communication is not timely, attendance is sub-par, or work does not meet quality standards, but those problems are tolerated from some employees because of family ties.

The founder has no plans to retire from the business or has retired but continues to control important aspects of the business.  

Succeeding generations are not being trained to assume leadership or are not given the freedom to lead.

Succession plans in the family business are not in place and/or are not clearly understood by all stakeholders.


1-3    Schedule a “heart-to-heart” conversation with your family business members before it gets worse.

4-6    Seek consultation, and soon!         

7-10  Your family business needs major changes if it is going to survive, and you cannot do that by                  yourself.

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