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In today's difficult employment market, it's not easy to take over my father's business.

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I grew up working in a family business under my father’s guidance. I have learned a lot from him and have always admired him. Years ago, my dad and I agreed that when he retired, I would pay him fair market value minus the deduction of sweat fairness for business. It’s been three years now.

I’m worried about what my business will look like if my dad doesn’t make changes right away, or at least doesn’t allow me to make changes. It has not been in the black since October last year, and has been in the red since January. Problem: Our employees. Everything has retired except one of the solid ones. It seems that you can’t hire a good alternative. At the very least, no one seems to stay when they find another employer to increase their flexibility. You can allow some employees to work from home for part of the week and allow others to come an hour later or leave an hour earlier, as long as they finish all their work.

My dad has owned this business for 30 years and insists on managing it “the way he always came”. He is “married” at the age of eight to five as a working day, reminding us that the business is consistently profitable under his leadership. When I insisted, he was angry and said, “What you learned in college doesn’t always work in the real world.”

Since then, we haven’t fought and talked. How can I contact him when even our finances don’t convince him that we need to change the way we do things? And is it best to wait for him to say something?


Why wait? If you want to break this logjam, please discuss and apologize to your dad. Tell him what you said to me and that you respect him. You never reach him by fighting. He knows how to dig his heels when someone comes to him. In addition, he may believe that your business can get past things. Because anyone who has been in business for 30 years has survived an era of low or no profit. But some of the reasons he’s been successful are learning every day what worked and what didn’t, and understanding “this changes and how this needs us to adapt”. It was to do.

Talk to him about the challenges you are seeing. Then you and he can create a game plan together. This is what you, your dad, and other business owners need to face.


A recession may come. More than 60% of CEOs predict a recession next year, according to The Conference Board, a member-led think tank that provides future forecasts. Another 15% of CEOs surveyed report that their area is already in recession. Layoffs and job freezes are happening in the technology world. The number of #OpentoWork banners in your LinkedIn profile has reached the level seen when the pandemic began.

Employee leverage

Despite the looming recession, there are still 5 million more jobs than the unemployed in the United States. For months, half of all employers were unable to fill their recruitment profession. Employers are desperate to fill vacancies, but talented applicants receive multiple jobs because they cannot find a solid job seeker. Employees expect a lot and leave employers who don’t give it.

Changes in the workforce

As I wrote in last week’s article, as a result of the pandemic turmoil, many employees have gained “COVID clarity” regarding their life priorities. They were reluctant to make sacrifices to “go ahead” with their employers. But you can find solid employees, solid small businesses under stable leadership who want what you and your father offer-if you meet them along the way.

Don’t claim flexibility. Tell your dad the facts. Half of the 1,583 experts surveyed by Harvard Business Review said they would quit their employers if more flexible alternatives were offered. A Deloitte & Touche study gives the final number on the importance of flexibility in retention. Their data show that retaining employees who said they retired if they couldn’t work on a flexible schedule saved $ 41.5 million in employee turnover costs.

According to a 2018 survey by FlexJobs, 80% of the employees surveyed reported that they chose jobs that offered flexible schedules over jobs that didn’t. These employees also said they would feel more loyal to their employers who provided flexible work schedules. In addition, 35% of employees surveyed said they prioritized flexible work schedules over more authoritative positions, and 30% reported that they prioritized flexible work schedules over additional vacation hours. did.

Finally, three years pass in no time when one owner moves to another. Remind your dad that you may want to start loosening the bridle.