Summary of Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business

Ensuring Success from One Generation to the Next

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Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business book summary
Plan correctly to keep your business in the family for generations.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Owning a family business can offer many rewards. You can build wealth while you work alongside the people you care about most. But thriving family businesses frequently dissolve into lawsuits, lost income and strife. Consultant Henry Hutcheson says that a family firm must balance the business’s quest for profits with the family’s desire for harmony. In this extensive instruction manual, Hutcheson offers tips on resolving conflicts, preventing a sense of entitlement in the succeeding generation, setting up a board of advisers and attending to shareholders’ interests. His advice is a quick, interesting read free from gimmicky concepts and consultant-speak. getAbstract recommends Hutcheson’s guidance to founders and senior managers of family businesses, as well as to board members and future managers from succeeding generations.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why family businesses frequently fail to make the transition to the next generation,
  • What strategies you can use to plan a smooth succession and
  • How a family business can balance the often-conflicting interests of the family versus the firm.


Family Affairs
According to the Family Firm Institute, family enterprises make up more than 70% of all businesses. Family businesses outperform nonfamily firms, have historically been the most substantial job creators and make significant contributions to GDP.

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About the Author

Henry Hutcheson founded and serves as president of Family Business USA, a consulting firm for businesses that are family-owned.

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