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Family Business Management Workshops Offer Resources to Navigate Unique Challenges

Family run business faces unique challenges from succession planning to sibling rivalry

Brenda Flowers

Family-owned businesses make up nearly 80% of the businesses in the Inland Region according to Keanon Alderson, California Baptist University professor of business, and those businesses have unique issues.

On October 20, Alderson joined with the City of Riverside Community and Economic Development Department to lead the first of two business workshops focused on family-owned firms offering resources to navigate the challenges they face.

The Inland Empire holds the largest number of family-owned firms of any Metropolitan Statistical Area in the nation, yet they are not only facing the same challenges as other businesses but has the increased complexity working with family.

“One family business I worked with had a serious sibling rivalry issue so bad it was disrupting the business. Using the tools from this workshop we will discuss how the problem was significantly improved. The siblings could work together and be professional,” Alderson said of the workshops.

“Family-owned businesses are a vital part of our community and critical to sustaining our economy, creating new jobs, and donating to our community organizations. If we want Riverside and the surrounding region to thrive, we need family-owned businesses to grow and prosper,” stated Jon Marks, City of Riverside Economic Development project coordinator.

The first workshop highlighted the opportunities and challenges of operating a family-owned business, as Alderson discussed the prevalence of family firms, the differences in operation compared to non-family owned, establishing trust with customers, and identifying the most common challenges families face when operating a business together.

The second workshop, on October 27, identifies tools to solve many of those challenges, such as creating a succession plan, family constitution, family council, establishing a board of advisers, and the management of people outside of the family.

This fall California Baptist University will open the Family Business Center which will offer monthly meetings.

Persons looking to attend this free family business management workshop on October 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the Downtown Library are encouraged to register for the events on Eventbrite.