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How to run a family business

Wofford offers seminar Aug. 22-23 to assist entrepreneurial families
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2014-07-29

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Running a family business presents unique challenges that can directly affect the financial strength and longevity of the enterprise as well as strain or even sever the relationships of the relatives involved. Issues with addictions such as drugs and alcohol, mental disorder, conflict, legal and tax issues, insurance, and even human resources and personnel issues can impact the performance of the business or the functioning of the family.

A new seminar at Wofford College will give entrepreneurial families guidance to improve family harmony and financial management of their businesses.

The Family Business Seminar will run from Aug. 22 through August 23 at Wofford and will feature Henry Hutcheson, founder and president of Family Business USA, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based consulting service.
  Hutcheson, author of the upcoming book “Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business: How to Successfully Navigate Conflict and Transition,” is himself a veteran of two family businesses: Olan Mills Portrait Studio on his mother’s side and Peerless Woolen Mill on his father’s. He spent the first part of his professional life working for Olan Mills before launching an international management career with UPS, Sumitomo Electric and IBM. In addition to managing his consulting service, he writes a family business column for three regional newspapers, The State (Columbia, S.C.), The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, and The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.).

“Family business owners and staff members need the business to perform well to build wealth, but this must be achieved while also maintaining familial relationships,” Hutcheson says. “Sixty-five percent of family businesses fail. I’ve seen what transpired in my family’s business, and many other family businesses. It’s all so avoidable with a little outside assistance.”

The seminar will address issues such as conflict resolution, identifying and addressing problems, succession planning, and financial management. A representative from PricewaterhouseCoopers will discuss the findings of its bi-annual family business survey, which addresses the economic climate for family businesses and the challenges and opportunities they face.

The seminar is hosted by Wofford’s The Space in The Mungo Center and registration is required to attend. The fee for individual participation is $899, which includes accommodations, meals and seminar materials. A discounted fee is available for additional family members. For more information or to register, visit www.wofford.edu/thespace/familybusinessseminar/. The deadline to register is Aug. 8.