Family ties produce tension, exhilaration

In a state where everyone has the potential to be related to anyone, the concept of family-owned businesses takes on special meaning. More

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PBN Editorial

Family ties produce tension, exhilaration

Posted 1/30/12

In a state where everyone has the potential to be related to anyone, the concept of family-owned businesses takes on special meaning.

In fact, isn’t it a Rhode Islander’s birthright to run a business with a sibling, or at least a few cousins? The fact that this is not the case points out just how difficult it is to run a successful business with a family-based ownership structure. And why our yearly Family-Owned Businesses special section is such an interesting read.

The owners of a family-owned business need to spend extra time communicating – about day-to-day decisions, about the business’ strategic direction and about who owns what part of the business and when.

Who hasn’t experienced misinterpreted sideways glances from a family member that blow up into holiday-season disasters?

If you own a business, that kind of misunderstanding could destroy it, and cost many people, many nonfamily members, their jobs (not to mention your own livelihood).

So read the stories in this week’s section, and learn how a number of the region’s success stories manage their businesses – and their family relationships – to great advantage. •

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