During this Crisis, Don’t Expect Business as Usual from the Family Enterprise

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | During this Crisis, Don’t Expect Business as Usual from the Family Enterprise | family businessIn the last half-century, the pace of change and the many innovations that have reorganized our behavior in no way compare with the unanticipated situation we now face from the coronavirus pandemic. We simply have no precedent for how to plan for what may come next, or for managing the pace of the upheaval. And yet every day we must act – even making tough choices – without much information about the best direction to take.

Family businesses and wealth are under threat like never before. With family members unable to go to work, it’s hard to imagine how to go back to some sense of normal once we get the “all clear.” That uncertainty and inability to be in command of business operations makes us anxious. And when we’re anxious, we do impulsive and short-sighted things.

In times of crisis, feelings of anxiety and loss cause people to draw inward and focus only on how circumstances directly affect them. That explains the lines at grocery stores and gun shops. Similarly, the individualist model of most businesses ownership is a lone wolf. Rather than seek help, owners make the tough decisions on their own.

But a crisis can also present the opportunity to lead more openly and plan together how to respond. By sharing the specifics of their dilemma, they are more likely to receive help and to also be available to each other.

The owner of a small family business has no idea of what will happen next. He or she must deal with anxiety in family members, employees, customers and suppliers, and the community. What was built over time is suddenly threatened. Rather than deal with these issues alone, the legacy owner is better off using this opportunity to bring others in and develop a shared response.

For example, within resilient family businesses, owners are not just together to make money, but to share values, responsibilities and a commitment to future success. These family businesses are able to act collaboratively.

Family business owners will want to act on these principles when responding to this crisis:

1. Shared family responsibility.

Family members have grown used to the security of the business. Even with its ups and downs, they’ve learned to depend on you. Rather than give false reassurances, it’s time for transparency and open discussion. This is a time to share the challenges regarding fixed costs, debt, obligations and the cost of doing business. A family discussion of what’s actually happening and the difficult choices that need to be made can actually provide more assurance and confidence than empty promises.

Use this opportunity to talk to younger generations in the family about business operations and the trials ahead. Describe what you are doing, and ask for help and ideas. For example, the family might decide to create an austerity plan and talk about how to cut expenses. The family can also discuss its underlying values and how, especially in this time of social hardship, how to look beyond their own self-interest and use their wealth to help others.

2. Transparency with employees.

Local businesses are trying to stay afloat while doing their best to virtually carry out essential services and responsibilities. Many have had to reduce operations, and some have been forced to let staff go. Family business owners need to be open with their employees, transparently communicating information and concerns. They must ensure that everyone across the company, not just employees, shares in the burden. The response must recognize financial reality, but also sustain social capital by respecting all stakeholders.

Collaboration, defining and maintaining underlying values, and ensuring open communication are qualities that will allow family businesses to bounce back after a crisis.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Dennis T. Jaffe, Ph.D.Dennis T. Jaffe, Ph.D., a leading architect of the field of family enterprise consulting, is an acclaimed speaker in programs for business families and financial service firms. Dennis leads the 100-Year Family Enterprise Research Program at Wise Counsel Research. He is also Family Business Scholar at the Smith Family Business Program at Cornell University, a faculty advisor at the Ultra High Net Worth Institute, and a regular contributor to Forbes Leadership channel. He was awarded a special commendation for Outstanding Contributor to Wealth Management Thought Leadership by the Family Wealth Report. His new book is Borrowed from Your Grandchildren: The Evolution of 100-Year Family Enterprises (Wiley, 2020). Learn more at dennisjaffe.com.

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The Right Way To Disrupt Markets (Hint: You Might Be Doing it Wrong)

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | The Right Way To Disrupt Markets (Hint: You Might Be Doing it Wrong)For the past five years, I’ve established a highly successful manufacturing company that actually supports the little guy. Lots of people said it couldn’t (or even shouldn’t) be done – that manufacturing simply didn’t work that way. I’m happy to say we are growing at an incredible rate, and helping other business owners see amazing growth in the process. But it didn’t happen overnight, and there are many ways that this new style of manufacturing could have gone wrong, instead of becoming the market disrupter that it is today.

Market disruption has become something of a buzzword over the last decade or so. It’s the ultimate goal of most entrepreneurs: find a new, better way of doing things that will become the new normal. Because there’s a rush to find the unique, disruptive, unheard of technology before somebody else does, some innovators dive headfirst into an idea, planning to take on the large corporations in their marketplace without a clear path to success. The right way to disrupt the market is a more calculated, step-by-step planning process.

It goes something like this:

  1. Know the market, inside and out. Before launching our own brand, my business partner and I worked for years inside the industry. We understood the nuances of profit margins, process, and market saturation. We also knew from this experience that there was room for something more. We saw too many smaller brands shut out of a process that could have been much more accessible, and we knew there was an opportunity to change the marketplace.
  2. Secure financing. You simply can’t launch a large-scale, market disrupting company without some capital. If you are independently wealthy, great – but odds are you’ll need to go looking for investors. Investors want to know exactly how you’re different from anyone who has come before you, and they want to see that you have a thought-through plan to get there. Most of all, they want to see your passion for your disruptive business and a dedication to making it happen. Be ready with your insider knowledge and a solid plan, and you’ll get there.
  3. Have a laser focus on your customer. One of the reasons market disruption becomes possible, even in well-established industries such as manufacturing, is because huge corporations lose focus on who made them successful in the first place: their customers. Constantly put yourself in the shoes of the type of person or company you are hoping will come to you. Revaluate their needs on an ongoing basis. For example, our company not only fulfills an initial manufacturing need – we help on the back end with marketing and brand development. If your customer is successful, they’ll have the means to invest. If you’re the reason they’re successful, they’ll have the incentive to invest in your brand. In short, when your customers succeed, so do you.
  4. Always be ready for the future. As your brand truly is able to disrupt your marketplace, you’ll grow with your customer base. But always remember: there are other disruptors right behind you. Always be planning for the next big thing for your consumers. We are continuously looking for ways to bring prices down, so we can reach an even wider base of clients looking for a small-scale manufacturing solution. We always follow market trends, so we know that our facility has to keep up with the demand for cleaner, sustainable formulas for our products. Our commitment to progress and to find innovative solutions will never rest.

Market disruption comes down to the right idea, with the right team, at the right time. Make sure you’ve put in the preparation – and then you’ll be ready to take advantage of your moment.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Jordan ErskineJordan Erskine has used his motivation and entrepreneurial skills to advance the personal care products industry for more than 17 years. He currently serves as the President of Dynamic Blending Specialists, a global cosmetics manufacturing company committed to delivering innovative solutions to businesses of all sizes. Jordan has contributed to the technical formulations of a variety of products, including those of Fortune 500 companies, and has facilitated the launch of several successful businesses. Jordan holds an MBA in International Business from Northeastern University.

Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Business Ideas for EntrepreneursStarting up a business requires a lot of dedication and consistency and should be kind in mind that there many chances that your business would fail. Even people with have an idea what business they want to open they come across many hurdles of how to implement or execute it. There are many factors which are the prerequisite to start something on your own, one needs to be practical when coming up with an idea and should able to withstand the situation if the business would go down.

Furthermore, some ideas are authentic and fantastic, but the execution of it would be a long and challenging task. Some of the areas which people can adopt to do part-time jobs are online businesses. This method helps to earn more money along with doing their existing jobs. It is very beneficial for the people who cannot leave home due to their responsibilities, and different circumstance can easily make money and their time productive. The business which can be executed from anywhere is online trade. As in today’s time, the world of global shipping is very diverse and quick. This article will assist the new people who have a business idea, or they are planning to do something of their own. Besides, this article will categorize a different kind of business into four broad categories to help people to get an idea about what type of business they want to pursue or what is appropriate or adjustable for them to carry it along with their other tasks in routine.

List of Business Ideas

  • Home-based business ideas
  • Small business ideas
  • Self-employment ideas
  • Fresh ideas for business.

Home-based Business Ideas

Writing Blogs

Blogs are one of the first business entity which comes with the invention of the online data. Blogs are the sources through people learn or take advice. It has been seen around 4.4million blogs posted on the internet every day, which is increasing as the entire publishing area is shifting towards the online world model. Though there is no doubt that the competition is excellent, still there are places for the new people in this industry. The first thing one needs to figure out before getting into this business is to decide which genre they want to write on. For instance, lifestyle, business, beauty, finance and many others. It is important to note that people who are planning to come in the online business need to know the usage of search engine and complete knowledge of other social media platform. Secondly, buy a domain name and develop a website which must be mobile-friendly and responsive. The last task is very crucial for any business to succeed. The content of your website is considered very important, mostly when approaching the business of your product or service. One should give the maximum time for creating the content. While writing the content of your website include only those things which is relatable to your products and selling strategies. Additionally, the keywords play a role to come in the top priority of the search engine. Which implies that your website would get more visiting and ultimately in result a profitable and sustainable business.

Video Logger

Once people get to a certain amount of subscriber on their channels, earn an enormous amount of money through different companies and organization to promote their cause or product. To start it by deciding what kind of videos you would like to display to the audience. After figuring out the video content, it is necessary to see whether the idea is relatable which the market or the viewer wants. It is essential to be truthful and responsible for the content you are putting up online, as this is available to the mass and can hurt people if it is not appropriate. Though this business requires a lot of patients and consistency. As not all people get famous overnight as we have seen in our last decade in the online arena.


The importance of freelancer can be understood from every third person in the UK working on a contractual basis. This work does not compel people to restrict them from doing their other business. People can carry out the task according to their timings in a given deadline and return, get the money for their expertise. The essential requirement to do any freelance work is one should be professional in what he is aiming to work in. The professions which offer high fees are web designing, content writing, development of software etc. There many online freelance companies available online to get into. Where one needs to develop a decent profile and upload the information related to the work you offering and experience. It is imperative to acquire position reviews to get more job in the form of gigs.


This kind of ecommerce is very appropriate for people with less investment and capital as in this online selling, one does not buy the product upfront but instead upload the supplier on their website and buy it from the supplier if someone order it forms your website. It reflects that you do not require a warehouse or money is not bound with stock you have bought. So, people who want to step up the business with less money can utilize this method to earn money online. Also, it is vital to keep in mind to put up only those product which is in demand and has the least depreciation cost. Dropshiping is all about the right timing and proper selection. It is critical to consider only those supplier who is reliable and quick because it would give a negative impact on your business if the buyers cancel their order before the arrival of the product. Besides this, the advertisement for your service or product is an essential factor to make your product seen to the mass audience. In these days, Facebook, Instagram, twitter comes in rescue for the problems related to the promotion and awareness of your business to the potential buyers.


To conclude, starting up a business is only for those people who have the patience and consistency. Because there are big chances of failure or business going down. Though, once one has completed or fulfill the prerequisite of starting up a new business and remain committed to his work, unprecedented success could be achieved. Plenty of options are available to pick your idea for your business that you can do passionately. At least, there is no comparison of satisfaction one gets from something you have created of your and get the chance of becoming a boss of your own.

Selling Suburbia to Millennials

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Selling Suburbia to MillennialsMillennial homebuyers aren’t the traditional real estate clients. The latest information from the National Association of Realtors has millennials looking to get away from high urban rent rates and more toward the suburbs to find the perfect single-family home. While these individuals are wanting to move away for hip urban neighborhoods, they don’t want to give up their active lifestyles.

Moving into Hipsturbia

According to a recent trends report, “hipsturbia” is fast becoming the desired location for real estate hunters. Not only that, but developers like Aubrey Ferrao will find new income potential when they make investments into the cool suburbs that millennials are looking for. These new developments are looking for affordable homes that offer a vibrant downtown location within walking distance, but also have a variety of retail shopping locations, restaurants, recreation, and public transit options. The professional Aubrey Ferrao designs are looking to create this experience in the newest developments in Florida, but this trend is sweeping the nation. In spite of the fast-paced diversity of city life, millennials are migrating to outside the city limits and looking for a life that is much quieter but still has a slight city feel.

The Expanding Trend

The first reports on “hipsturbia” came back in 2013 when the New York Times reported that more people were moving to the vibrant communities that were just outside city limits. This trend has moved into major metro areas across the country, with communities like Santa Clara, CA being just one of the few bustling suburbs moving to add passive recreational space alongside new developments. Near Chicago, communities like Evanston still allow for a quick transit time into the heart of the Windy City but have invested in retail opportunities and rooftop bars to keep the local residents engaged in the community. Deep in Atlanta, suburban communities are using mixed-use developments that are within walking distance of housing to attract young workers to the location. Even smaller markets like Charlestown and Tempe, AZ are expanding their “hipsturbia” options.

The Commute Crisis

In addition to the assumption that suburban life was more dull and static than thriving city life, people originally put off moving outside of the city because of the distance and commute. Just like people have found out that small communities have the same charm and attraction as what they find in a big city, they are also finding that the commute isn’t really a sticking point. People start looking at an area because of the easy commute into the city, but once they settle in, the commute isn’t such a big deal. There are so many people with telecommuting positions or only needing to go to the city once a week for work that distance doesn’t discourage people from looking outside the city for work. They find that their businesses can grow just as well outside the city as it can within.

More Than Millennials

While millennials are the largest population fueling the growth in these popular suburban areas, there is a surprising amount of interest by the empty-nesters. Rather than moving toward the city once the children have grown and moved on, empty-nesters prefer to stay in their communities where everything is still within easy access. These couples also feel that it is a great location to have their grandchildren come and visit, in addition to being able to take part in age-related activities through the well-grounded and bustling community.

For a real estate investment that will offer much of the attraction of city life, moving into “hipsturbia” could be a great opportunity. You can find just about everything you need close to your home, and you won’t have to give up the lifestyle you are used to.